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GUIDE DOGS AND MOBILITY

Both the American Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind maintain lists of guide dog schools.

Guide Dog Foundation: provider of guide dogs; also has a puppy program for people wanting to raise potential guides.

Guide Dog Users, Inc. is still under construction but they have an online catalog of a wide variety of supplies for guide dogs, including chocolate guide dogs for hungry owners. The catalog is also available in a variety of accessible formats. GDUI also publishes "Dog Fancy" and "Pawtracks" magazines in four-track casette format.

Guide Dogs for the Blind: providers of guide dogs; "Guide Dog News" online, with some articles archived.

The Guide Horse Foundation provides miniature horses as guides for blind people in suburban and rural environments.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind: providers of guide dogs and mobility training.

Leader Dogs for the Blind.

The Miniguide is a recently developed mobility aid that indicates the distance to the closest object by means of an audio tone; the higher the pitch of the tone, the closer the object.

Pilot Dogs, Inc. (Columbus, OH) provides blind people with trained pilot dogs at no charge.

Ruffwear sells collapsible water and food bowls, packs, boots, coats, first aid kits and toys, all for the "dog on the the go."

The Seeing Eye: includes back issues of The Seeing Eye Guide.

SmartSight Limited is working on a system of converting visual images into sound, using musical tones to build up a sonic representation of an object or scene.

TravelVision has some valuable accounts of "the history of Orientation and Mobility instruction, . . . the proper way to guide an individual using the "sighted-guide technique," as well as information about using the white cane or dog-guide.

The On-Line Connection has a good set of links to assistive/service/helping/working dog sites.

An excellent brief overview of the theory of orientation and mobility, as well as summaries of recent developments in state-of-the-art wayfinding technology is available as the "Draft Summary: Wayfinding Technology Workshop," produced by the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), Interagency Subcommitee on Technology (September 28, 1999).

"Finding Wheels: A Curriculum for Nondrivers with Visual Impairments for Gaining Control of Transportation Needs," created by Anne L. Corn and L. Penny Rosenblum, is designed for middle and high school students ($34.00 plus shipping).

Here is a good FAQ on service dogs, including guide dogs, from the point of view of a dog breeder rather than a user.
The same site is a source of excellent FAQ's covering the history, standards, health care, behavior, training, breeding and much else about dog breeds; each one also covers printed sources and links to other web sites. Breeds having comprehensive FAQ's include some of the chief guide dog breeds: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.

Delta Society: Celebrating Companion Animals is a great source of information on service animals and therapy animals; it has searchable national directory, online publications and a catalog.

Dr. P's Dog Training Page has links to much information about service dogs, including general information, articles and stories and links to providers and directories of providers.

Dog Fancy On-Line has much information on health, care, behavior, training and nutrition, as well as links to more comprehensive sources about breeds, health care and general doggy news.

The Pet Loss and Grief Support Page has advice for people experiencing the loss of a faithful pet and companion, including links to the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement and to the Cornell University Pet Loss Support Hotline.

A "Brief History of the White Cane," by Philip Strong.

"The Wisconsin Academy of Graduate Service Dogs, Inc. [W.A.G.S.] began in 1987 and promotes functional independence and quality of life for persons with disabilities through the provision of highly skilled service, social, and specialty dogs."

"Atlas is a talking digital map consisting of most addresses and street intersections, nationwide, with a specially designed user interface to navigate and describe this map data verbally using right left, front back, the clock face, compass or 360 degree headings. Arrow keys are used to navigate around the map while a speech synthesizer announces as much or little information as the user wants to hear."

The Sendero Group is also developing a combination of the BrailleNote and VoiceNote notetakers and a Global Positioning System receiver. The "receiver is connected to the VoiceNote or BrailleNote and the information identifies locations that are near you and triggers them as you approach those locations."

Bioptic Driving Web Site: "this site is devoted to the dissemination of information about low vision driving with the use of a bioptic [telescope]. . . . there is an option available that may allow them to obtain their driver's license even if they cannot meet their state's standard vision requirements for driving."

"Describe Online is publishing text guides to public premises, on a website which is accessible to all who can benefit from this information." The sites described are British National Rail Stations and London Underground Stations. The guides cover environs, facilities, and general and detailed descriptions of the premises.

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