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Associations, Organizations and Schools

  • Members of Assistance Dogs International meet regularly to share ideas and conduct business regarding educating the public about assistance dogs, advocating for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs, and the setting of standards and establishing guidelines and ethics for the training of these dogs.
    The objectives of Assistance Dogs International is to:
    • Establish and promote standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training and partnership;
    • Facilitate communication and learning among member organizations; and
    • Educate the public about the benefits of assistance dogs and ADI membership.
  • The International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) was formed in 1989, following meetings over several years of Guide Dog schools around the World. The history of the organisation along with interesting “Facts and Figures” can be found by following these links. The IGDF now comprises approximately 80 members. The purpose of these schools is to serve people who are blind or sight-impaired from around the world by training and providing Guide Dogs. It is a growing and thriving membership organization with a small executive office based in Reading, UK. Details about membership are covered under their section entitled “Membership Information”.
  • Guide Dog Users of Canada (GDUC) helps guide dog users maximize the benefits of mobility with a guide dog so that they may participate more fully in Canadian society.
    Open to guide dog users and all those interested in furthering their cause, GDUC is becoming a voice for Canadian guide dog users and a centre of excellence on the activities, needs and accomplishments of persons who are blind or deaf-blind, and assisted by guide dogs. GDUC is a Canadian Registered charity (Canada Revenue Agency #869175190 RR0001) and all donations are tax deductible.
  • Guide Dog Users Inc. (GDUI), an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, is the largest guide dog consumer-driven organization in the world. GDUI members shape the initiatives that most profoundly affect guide dog users. GDUI has affiliate organizations throughout the US, where members work together on local and global issues. GDUI is a founding member of the Coalition of Assistance Dog Organizations (CADO), having hosted its first historic meeting in 2001.
    GDUI works tirelessly to promote and protect the rights of qualified assistance dog teams. In its award-winning audio magazine, PawTracks, features abound about the world of working guide dog teams. is your online address for everything guide dog related including:
  • US federal and US state legislation.
    Note: Refer to either our pages on guide dog access & legislation or the Guide Dog Users of Canada (GDUC) web site for access legislation that applies in Canada.
  • An affordably priced product line
  • the first and only online comparison of guide dog training programs
  • postings of events and information.
    GDUI hosts dynamic listservs:
    GDUI-Business; and
    stimulating environments for problem solving, addressing issues and exchanging vital information. GDUI’s advocacy committee is who to contact for assistance and information on everything from access denial in the US, promoting legislation, to tips on guide dogs and international travel.
    GDUI educates the public by tapping into the knowledge and experience of its members and through the distribution of appropriate guide dog literature. GDUI is there for guide dog users throughout the life cycle of their guide, especially in time of loss, grief and traumatic change. GDUI is worth much more than its $15.00 annual membership fee. GDUI welcomes your participation and support.
  • International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) is a non profit organization that was launched in 1993 at the joint Delta Society and Assistance Dogs International Conference. A historic meeting took place between consumer representatives from many states partnered with guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs. The outcome was an unanimous vote to establish an independent cross disability consumer organization that could represent all Assistance Dog Partners (not just one faction) and advance consumer interests in the assistance dog field.
    International Association of Assistance Dog Partners’ mission is to:
    • provide assistance dog partners with voicing the assistance dog field;
    • enable those partnered with guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs to work together on issues of mutual concern; and
    • to foster the disabled person / assistance dog partnership.
  • The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU), a division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), is committed to providing information and assistance to the guide dog community throughout the United States. Their members consist of current guide dog users, people considering working with a guide dog, puppy raisers and others interested in the use of guide dogs.
    Members work collectively to:
    • ensure sound training practices in guide dog programs;
    • educate guide dog handlers about their rights and responsibilities;
    • educate the public about access rights for blind people accompanied by guide dogs; and
    • promote legislation that will ensure that guide dog users have equal opportunities in employment and recreation.
    • PAWS for Independence states their mission is to provide resources to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities and facilitate community awareness.

Guide Dog Schools – Canada

Guide Dog Schools – United States

In the United States (the following schools also provide guide dogs and training for Canadian citizens):

Guide Dog Schools – International

For a listing of many of the guide dog schools operating outside Canada or the United States, please refer to