Guide Dog Program Application
Filling out the GDD Application
Welcome to the Guide Dogs of the Desert (GDD) application. Please review all the information below thoroughly before filling out the application. You may have assistance filling out the application, but you must understand the information below and be able to discuss it with us directly. Completing the application could take up to one hour. We recommend you have all contact information for your providers, O&M instructor, and references handy to reduce the time you need to spend. Please complete the fields of the application thoroughly. To make the paperwork collecting process more efficient and timely, please provide email addresses for yourself, your providers and references. This will be our avenue of communication during the entire application process.
Make sure that you meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Degree of Visual Impairment – You must be considered legally blind by an eye care professional. Legal blindness is defined as visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best correction possible or a field of vision of 20 degrees or less.
- Orientation & Mobility and Independent Living Skills – You must have completed formal Orientation and Mobility training, and must be able to demonstrate your ability to travel and live independently. If you have never had this training, please contact your local blind rehab facility to inquire and sign up for training. You will be required to enter the instructor’s contact information on the application.
- Physical Ability – You must be in good physical health; have sufficient strength, flexibility, coordination, and endurance to be a Guide Dog’s handler. You also must be able to walk for several blocks at a time (1 mile or more) independently without the assistance of a walker.
- Learning Ability and Mental Health – You must have the cognitive ability to learn dog training concepts, apply them consistently, demonstrate the abilities to work with and handle a Guide Dog appropriately. If you are currently being treated by a mental health professional, we may require additional contact information for that doctor.
- Financial Ability – You must have the ability to financially cover the expenses associated with the maintenance and care of a Guide Dog. You will need to offer your Guide Dog high quality food, monthly preventatives, vaccinations and an annual veterinary wellness visit. You also must cover your Guide Dog’s other veterinary and general expenses such as treats, toys, crate, dog bed, etc.
- Home Environment – You must be able to provide a safe, loving, healthy, and stable home for a Guide Dog.
- Travel Environment – You must have at least three established, dynamic travel routines to provide a Guide Dog with adequate work.
The entire application process can take up to one year. During this time, if you experience a change in any contact information, please advise us as soon as possible so that we may keep your information current. Information collected is strictly confidential and is used only to assist in initially establishing your eligibility for the program
Fill out and submit our online application below: