New O&M Internship Academy Created
Endowed by the Dryer Foundation
In December 2012 Leader Dogs for the Blind was thrilled to be the beneficiary of a $1 million grant from the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Foundation. This grant will be used to create and endow the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Internship Academy at Leader Dogs for the Blind.
The grant allows Leader Dog to provide up to three endowed paid professional internships per year and to hire an additional experienced O&M Specialist. Together, these positions will allow us to serve 30–35 additional clients each year with O&M training.
"Creating the Dryer Internship Academy at Leader Dogs for the Blind will ensure that we can attract the best O&M professionals in the nation, and it allows us to partner with leading universities to continue extending the state of the art in education and innovation for services to people who are blind or visually impaired," said Leader Dog President & CEO Susan Daniels.
Edward Dryer was a Detroit-area banker who suddenly and unexpectedly lost almost all of his sight while on a business trip in the 1960s. After losing his job, he worked with his wife Ellen, an advertising industry professional, to become an independent investor with great success while traveling around Detroit as independently as possible.
"Ed Dryer taught himself to live a self-sufficient and independent life and was always determined that his blindness wasn't going to limit his mobility," said Dryer Foundation President Jon B. Gandelot. "He and Ellen decided that their legacy would be to support research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and visual impairment and to support future individuals and families facing what they had gone through. The trustees of their Foundation believe that training future generations of O&M professionals at Leader Dogs for the Blind in their names is a fitting memorial to their shared vision."
The first intern and additional O&M Specialist are expected to be on campus in 2013. We would like to thank the Dryer Foundation Trustees, and of course Edward and Ellen Dryer, for their commitment to helping people who are blind or visually impaired receive the training needed to increase their ability to travel independently.