There are no upfront costs to our students to receive a guide dog. Training, travel, equipment, room and board, and follow-up services are also provided free of charge. Donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and service groups cover the entire cost to graduate a guide dog team. Once home you will be responsible for the cost of upkeep for your guide dog.
The dog breeds that we offer to our students consist of Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds. Our dogs are trained to work in a variety of environments including rural roads, small towns, large towns, college campuses, shopping malls, large cities, buses, trains, subways, and cars just to name a few. Please note that if you request a breed, gender, color, size, etc. your wait time may be impacted.
Listed below is information pertaining to the various training programs that Guiding Eyes for the Blind offers.
Three-week program held at our training center in Yorktown Heights, NY. Students have their own room and bath. Training begins on our campus and progresses to nearby towns and cities. Eventually, students train in custom locations which can include New York City to individually prepare them for their home environment.
To qualify for Home Training, you must demonstrate a reason why you cannot attend our Residential Program. For example: Child Care, Work Obligations, Caring for an Elderly Parent, etc. Our Home Training program may be an option for both first-time and repeat guide dog users. Training will be conducted in your home environment for 10-15 days depending on your experience working with a Guide Dog.
Students can be served through the Residential or Home Training Programs. Special Needs instructors design training programs suited to accommodate each student’s individual needs. These instructors are also trained in tactile American Sign Language to communicate with those who are DeafBlind.
For experienced Guide Dog users: If a student is already a guide dog user, he or she can consider the ACTION Program. ACTION students train for ten days at Guiding Eyes, and then return home for several days of training with a Guiding Eyes instructor.
Designed for active individuals who would like to be able to use their guide dog for exercise runs in their home environment. This training is an add on to our other programs. In order to qualify for this program, you need to complete basic guide dog training through one of our other programs. In addition, you must have access to a safe and straight forward route that you are in the habit of using on a regular basis.