Please review the eligibility requirements listed below.
- You are legally blind
- You are over 16 years of age (Please note that you can apply earlier but should be 16 before you come into training)
- You live in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico (residents of other countries should visit the International Guide Dog Federation.)
- You walk outdoors regularly, unaccompanied and independently using a white cane.
- You can be responsible for the care of a dog.
- You’ve had Orientation and Mobility training.
(Please visit The American Foundation for the Blind’s website at: www.afb.org to locate your nearest agency and request services.)
If you are still not sure if you are eligible, please contact the Admissions Department at 800-942-0149 ext. 2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you meet the requirements above, please review our Admissions process below. As you go through our process, please know that we are here to support you every step of the way. You can reach our Admissions Department staff at: 800-942-0149 (ext. 2222) or 914-242-2222.
E-mail us at email@example.com
Fax us at 914-243-2232
You can access our application form through either link below. The first link takes you to our on-line application and the second link provides the application documents including the medical and vision forms in PDF format so you can print and complete them. If you would prefer to receive a hard copy application packet be mailed to you, please contact the Admissions Department. The wait time once we receive your application can vary depending on a variety of factors. Please contact the Admissions Department to discuss further.
Once your completed application is received, the Admissions Department will contact you to review the application and answer any questions you may have about the process.
As soon as we receive your signed Release of Information form, we will contact your references (these may include an Orientation and Mobility Instructor, a previous guide dog school, or other professionals for any supporting information we might need.) As part of the application process, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Inc. may conduct reference and criminal background checks on all applicants. Contact the Admissions Department if you would like to provide us with background information that will assist in these areas. Any information collected during the application process will be kept confidential.
The medical form must be completed and signed by your primary care physician and should be faxed, mailed, or e-mailed directly to Guiding Eyes. Our nurse will call you to go over any medical information. Please note that your medical exam must have occurred within the last year. We also ask that you try to get your medical form to us within 4 months of sending an application so that your wait time is not impacted.
The vision assessment form should be completed by your eye doctor or primary care physician and returned directly to Guiding Eyes. If you have a copy of a recent eye exam or certificate of blindness, you may send it to us in place of the vision form. Please note that you do not need to complete the vision form if you are a graduate of Guiding Eyes.
Once your application is received, one of the members from our field representative staff will contact you to schedule an in-person interview with you at your home. This interview allows us to get to know you better, understand your needs for a guide dog, and give you the opportunity to ask questions and learn as much as you can about our training program. During this process, the representative will also be gathering information that will eventually help us match you to a guide dog. With your permission, the representative will take video of you during the interview process.
Once your application has been completed, (including the signed release, medical report, vision report if applicable, references, home interview, and any other supporting documents and materials.) Our Admissions Committee reviews your complete application, and you will be informed of the decision, either by phone call letting you know that you have been approved or by letter stating the reasons for the denial of your application.
You have the right to appeal the decision of the Admissions Committee if you feel it is unfair based on incomplete information or misinformation. If you wish to appeal the Admissions Committee decision, please notify the Admissions Department in writing that you disagree with the Committee’s decision, stating the reason for your disagreement along with supporting evidence. This can be mailed or e-mail to us. This letter, along with your file, will be considered by the Committee, and you will be contacted as soon as a final decision is made.