One-of-a-Kind Training

A man walks down a sunny, grass-lined sidewalk using a white cane

For years, Leader Dogs for the Blind had to turn down requests for guide dogs because the applicants did not have adequate orientation and mobility (O&M) skills. In many cases, O&M training was not available in the areas where people lived or even if it was, it was not offered in a format that worked for everyone who needed it.

That’s why we began offering our accredited Orientation & Mobility Training program.

Orientation is knowing where you are in your environment and where you want to go. Mobility is being able to safely move through the environment to get there. Our program is “accelerated” because we train clients one-on-one for a week to quickly get them traveling independently with a white cane. (Most O&M programs offer a few hours of training once or twice a month over a longer period of time.)

One recent client, Bob Rock, admits that he knew very little about how O&M training would help him. “I’ll be totally blind eventually and I wanted to learn how to get around,” he says. “Erica, my instructor, showed me the different ways to cross intersections, read traffic using my hearing, and remember streets.”

Since returning home, Bob has been finding real enjoyment in putting him O&M skills to good use. He walks 25–40 miles each week through his home town and on trails at a local park. He’s also noticed a difference in people around him: “They used to blow by me when they didn’t realize I couldn’t see. Now the white cane lets them know I’m blind.”

RECOMMENDED POSTS

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Kacie

Today’s Voice of the Leader Dog Community is LDB Client ...
A woman and a golden retriever are sitting on a wooden dock with a rippling blue lake in the background. The woman is smiling and sitting cross-legged with her right arm around the dog’s shoulders, she holds the dog’s brown leather leash in her left hand. She has long, straight blond hair and round wire glasses; she is wearing denim capri’s and a white, red and light grey top. The dog’s tongue is hanging out and has a black spot in the middle. He has long light tan fur and a very black nose.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Nancy C

One of my favorite books as a little girl was ...
A group of two women and five men sit around a round gray table smiling and looking at the camera. In the background on a wall is the Leader Dog logo

Leader Dog Volunteers

When you think about what volunteering at Leader Dogs for ...
Christina and Leslie kneel next to Eric, and there's a black lab lying on the floor next to them

Behind the Microphone

What goes into creating a podcast? Well, the simple answer ...
A smiling woman with blonde wavy hair using a green brush to groom a golden retriever standing on a platform next to her. The dog has its mouth open and looks at the camera as if smiling

A Day in the Life of Our Dog Care Team

An insider’s look at how our future Leader Dogs are ...
A smiling woman in the foreground taking a photo of herself and a smiling man in the background with a group of black and yellow lab puppies.

Voices of the Leader Dog Community: Lauren Eckberg and Justin Simard

Hello! Our names are Lauren and Justin and we have ...