SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of National Guide Dog Month, Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is launching a short, animated video, to help create a more respectful, safe, and inclusive public transportation experience for people who are blind or visually impaired and their guide dogs.
The animated, two-minute video is aimed at transportation service providers and drivers. It includes tips on how to interact with guide dog teams with specific suggestions for ride-share drivers, such as verbally identifying themselves when picking up a guide dog team. The video also includes etiquette for members of the general public who may be taking a subway or bus with a guide dog team.
The video includes other tips and etiquette for interacting with guide dog teams, such as:
- Treat someone who is blind with the same respect and dignity as you would anyone else
- Talk directly to people, not their dogs
- Ask if someone needs assistance before giving it
- Give clear verbal directions about where something is located
“We believe everyone can move through the world safely and confidently, and that should include using public transportation,” said Christine Benninger, president and CEO of Guide Dogs for the Blind. “This video is another example of our commitment to empowering people who are blind or visually impaired, because we know that our communities are stronger when everyone is included.”
The video will be shared this month directly with transportation companies, guide dog user groups and advocacy groups for people who are blind or visually impaired, and it will be distributed via GDB’s web site (guidedogs.com), YouTube, social media, transportation trade events, and various other online channels.
Though laws are in place that give people the right to travel with their guide dogs via public transportation, there is a lack of resources to educate public transit agencies and operators about how to create a safe and inclusive experience for guide dog teams. In creating the video, GDB hopes to fill this void and help transit agencies and operators feel better equipped to provide excellent service for all.
About Guide Dogs for the Blind
Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is the largest guide dog school in North America. It is a passionate community that prepares highly qualified guide dogs to empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired to move through the world more safely and confidently. More than 16,000 guide teams have graduated from GDB since it was founded in 1942. GDB not only improves mobility for its clients, but it also furthers inclusion and advocates for policy reforms that change how the world views blindness. All of GDB’s services are provided free of charge, and it receives no government funding. The organization was the subject of an award-winning 2018 documentary feature called Pick of the Litter, which was developed into a television docu-series by the same name that debuted in 2019 on Disney+. For more information, visit guidedogs.com, or call 800.295.4050.
Guide Dogs for the Blind’s sister organization, Guide Dogs for the Blind International (GDBI), is a registered charity in Canada that helps pair Canadians who are blind or visually impaired with highly qualified guide dogs. For more than 50 years, Canadians have been matched with guide dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind.
GDBI receives no government funding and is supported entirely by private contributions. All donations will receive a charitable tax receipt. Learn more at gdbinternational.ca.