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Media Tips and Talking Points
Reminder: If a media opportunity arises, please inform the GDB Marketing team, so that we can provide media outlets with appropriate imagery, logos, etc.
- Always use our full name, Guide Dogs for the Blind, when speaking with reporters.
- Use people-first language e.g., a person who is blind or visually impaired instead of blind or visually impaired person
- Do say: guide dogs help our clients lead more safe, independent, and inclusive lives; do not say it helps them lead normal lives
- Refer to yourself as a raiser vs. trainer. Trainer or instructor refers to the staff at Guide Dogs for Blind who provide formal instruction in guide work.
- If an interviewer asks you something you don’t know or makes you uncomfortable, you can direct them to contact our Marketing Team or bridge to another topic, e.g., that’s not my area of expertise, but what I can tell you is…
- Please avoid squishy eyes by pulling on the leash too hard when a puppy is wearing a gentle leader.
Puppy raising-specific talking points
- Our main job as volunteer puppy raisers is to teach the puppy good manners and provide socialization opportunities.
- Raisers receive the puppies when the pups are about two months old and care for them for approximately 13-15 months. They then go to Guide Dogs for the Blind’s San Rafael, California or Boring, Oregon campus for several months of formal training.
- Through puppy clubs, puppy raisers help each other with training, take their puppies on outings, and socialize together along with their puppies. They might take puppies on public transportation, to the movies, or other public places in order to get them comfortable in many different environments.
- Guide Dogs for the Blind’s 2,000-plus volunteer puppy raising families are located throughout the Western and Southwestern United States. We are always looking for additional volunteers. Visit guidedogs.com to learn more.
General talking points:
- Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind has been serving individuals who are blind and legally blind across North America.
- Guide Dogs for the Blind is the largest guide dog school in North America, with circa 2,000 active guide dog teams in the field. More than 16,000 teams have graduated since its inception.
- Over the course of 80+ years, GDB’s mission has expanded to three kinds of programs: a Guide Dog Mobility Program, an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Program, and a K9 Buddy Program. GDB not only improves mobility for its clients, but it also furthers inclusion and advocates for policy reforms that change how the world views blindness.
- It is important to note that Guide Dogs for the Blind provides unparalleled support to its clients but doesn't charge anything for its services. Support consists of veterinary financial assistance, dedicated field service representatives and support center, an alumni association and more.
- Guide Dogs for the Blind receives no government funding, so relies on the generosity of donors.
- People interested in receiving our services, donating, becoming puppy raisers, or volunteering in some other fashion can visit the web site guidedogs.com for more details.