Photo Credit : http://guidedogs.org.sg/
SINGAPORE, 28 June 2016 – Guide Dogs Association of the Blind Ltd (GDAB) today announced that a Singaporean cadet has been selected for an intensive 18-month Guide Dog Training Course in Australia and is set to become the first accredited Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
The cadet will learn how to train dogs to become qualified guides and instruct guide dog users to move about in their environment safely and effectively. Accredited GDMIs are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to assess a blind or visually-impaired person’s mobility skills, pair them with guide dogs and teach them the proper way to handle and care for their guide dogs.
“For the past ten years, GDAB has been engaging the public and blind and visually-impaired community in Singapore to pave the way for guide dog use on our small island. The empowerment enabled by these amazingly clever dogs touches our heart every day,” said Amos Miller, Chairman of GDAB. “Through our advocacy programmes and the great help of so many people, we are glad to see greater acceptance of guide dogs in public spaces and even more visually-impaired people realising their potential with the dedicated, lifelong support of guide dogs and our growing team of professionals.”
There are a total of eight guide dogs in Singapore with the eighth guide dog currently training under Zara Linehan, an accredited GDMI from Britain. Supporting the move to form more guide dog teams, GDAB will also be expanding their team of Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Instructors to empower more blind and visually-impaired people in Singapore. Beneficiaries with good O&M skills are able to live independently and may eventually consider getting a guide dog.
“I’m pleased to say that we are now stepping into a new phase of development in strengthening our capabilities with more passionate and talented locals coming on board. With a stronger team of local instructors, we look forward to seeing many more empowered and independent guide dog teams in the streets of Singapore over the coming few years,” added Miller.
In celebration of GDAB’s 10th Anniversary, a one-day event titled “Journey in the Dark” will be showcasing the special relationship between the blind or visually-impaired person and their guide dog. The event will also feature family-friendly games, fundraising activities and a lucky draw. “Journey in the Dark” will be open to the public on 10 July 2016, Sunday, at Causeway Point atrium between 12pm to 8.30pm.
For more information on GDAB, please visit www.guidedogs.org.sg. To make a donation, please visitwww.give.asia/charity/guide_dogs_association_of_the_blind_ltd.
About Guide Dogs Association of the Blind Ltd
Guide Dogs Association of the Blind Ltd (GDAB) is a non-profit voluntary welfare organisation founded in 2006. It focuses on enhancing the quality of life for blind and visually-impaired people in Singapore through the provision of training and rehabilitation programme such as Orientation & Mobility and Guide Dogs Programme. The organisation also actively advocates for an inclusive society where every blind and visually-impaired person is empowered for independent living. Till date, GDAB has served more than 160 blind and visually-impaired people and has successfully paired four Guide Dog teams. GDAB is an associate member with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and holds the Institute of Public Character status.