Rod Haneline, COMS
Chief Programs and Services Officer
Rod Haneline is internationally recognized for his extensive knowledge in developing advanced orientation and mobility (O&M) instructional programs. He has developed integrated methods for use of canes and dogs as well as GPS in both O&M and guide dog programs. His expertise in guide dog utilization, O&M and GPS has given him an innovative perspective for enhancing mobility and independence for people who are blind and visually impaired.
Haneline currently oversees the O&M, GPS and guide dog training at Leader Dogs for the Blind. Haneline also served as director of student services and was a Leader Dog instructor for 12 years. Haneline has been with Leader Dogs for the Blind since 1979. Previously, he was a narcotics detector dog handler for the United States Air Force.
Haneline implemented Leader Dog's Accelerated Mobility Program that provides O&M training for guide dog applicants requiring additional travel skills. He was instrumental in developing Leader Dog's location technology classes (centering on the use of a talking navigational tool using GPS) and Leader Dog has become the world leader in the application of this technology for people who are blind or visually impaired. All Leader Dog clients receive training as well as a GPS product when they graduate from the guide dog program.
Haneline has developed and implemented an ongoing series of seminars designed for both practicing professionals and university students in the field of orientation and mobility. He saw the value of real world experience for O&M students in the Western Michigan University program and developed a practicum program that teams up O&M professionals, Western O&M students and Leader Dog clients for hands-on experience in a unique accelerated program for teaching O&M. He also started an intern program for graduate students in Blind Rehab/Orientation and Mobility. For his work in the Blind Rehabilitation field, he was inducted into the Outstanding Alumni Academy at Western Michigan University.
Haneline is a graduate of Oakland University with a bachelor's degree in Human Resource Development, majoring in training and development. Haneline also has a master's degree from Western Michigan University in Blind Rehabilitation, majoring in orientation and mobility. He has spoken all over the world on O&M and guide dogs. He has also authored, published and presented numerous articles and informative literature on the subjects of guide dog utilization, preparation of clients for guide dog use and training techniques and blindness.