Guide Dogs for the Blind staff offer glimpse of the ‘guide dog lifestyle’ (photo gallery)

Mark Gillard, certified O&M specialist with Guide Dogs for the Blind, explains the back-chaining and patterning methods to class participants

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Staff from Guide Dogs for the Blind were in Alabama recently for a training and workshop for ADRS staff and consumers.

The group’s stay began with a two-day training session for orientation and mobility specialists from ADRS and other entities, including the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, E.H. Gentry, and Birmingham-area school systems. Class topics included assessing a client’s readiness for training and working/living with a guide dog and preparing guide dog users for guide dog mobility. Participants also learned methods for working with a guide dog – including back-chaining, patterning, and targeting objects/places.

The four wrapped up their visit with a half-day workshop for individuals who are interested in using a guide dog for mobility.

Guide Dogs for Blind, the largest school of its kind in the United States, was established in 1942. It has campuses in San Rafael, Calif., and Boring, Ore.

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