Deaf-Blind Guide Dog Program
Leader Dogs for the Blind currently graduates four to six Deaf-Blind clients from its guide dog program each year. Clients in this program are trained by instructors who communicate with clients in American Sign Language (ASL).
Dogs trained for the Deaf-Blind recognize and respond to hand signals and ASL with or without vocal support. It is important to note that these dogs are trained solely to guide—not to be hearing dogs.
If you would like to speak with one of our Deaf-Blind guide dog mobility instructors via videophone, you can request an appointment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use "Videophone Appointment Request" in the subject line.
Prerequisites and Requirements
- Good mental and physical health, including the ability to walk several blocks.
- Above average orientation and mobility skills.
- Ability to cross streets with methods developed prior to attending the training course. Examples of these methods include: message cards, taped message device, public assistance or relying on remaining vision.
- A short video demonstrating the independent travel skills is required.
- Challenge Level: Moderate to Difficult
- Training Period: 25 days
- Classes Offered Annually: 2–3
The Deaf-Blind guide dog program is offered free of charge at our residential campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan, including:
- expenses for public transportation to students traveling within North America
- room and board