Do you have questions about your legal rights as a service dog user?
Do you need an advocate to work with you regarding an access denial?
You can now call the NAGDU Education and Advocacy Hotline!
Toll-Free 1-888-NAGDU-411 (1-888-624-3841).
Or call 1- 813-658-5749.

National Association of Guide Dog Users

The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) is a proud division of the National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest organization of the blind in the United States.

The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) is an organization for blind people who currently use guide dogs as mobility tools, those considering getting a guide dog, or those who want to learn more about the use of such dogs. We provide a forum for those interested in the guide dog movement to discuss common issues and to increase opportunities for those who have chosen to use a guide dog for independent travel. NAGDU works to promote sound practices in the training and use of such dogs for mobility by offering input and advice to guide dog training programs. We are also committed to educating business owners, law enforcement officers, and the general public about state and federal laws that give disabled people the right to be accompanied by their guide dogs. For more specific information about guide dogs, you may click on the links below or get in touch with us at

National Association of Guide Dog Users
National Federation of the Blind
813-626-2789
info@nagdu.org

Guide Dog Access Legislation

Even before the first guide dog was matched with its blind handler, those who began the guide dog movement in the United States understood that, in order to allow blind people to reap the full benefit of a well-trained guide dog, it was important that the public be educated about the usefulness of these animals to their blind owners and that those who owned, or operated public establishments or who provided public transportation allow blind individuals to be accompanied by their guide dogs. The National Federation of the Blind was on the forefront to have laws passed to protect the rights of blind individuals to enter such places of business, and to use public transportation with their guide dogs. As the result of our efforts, every state has laws that provide legal remedies for denying or interfering with a blind person's access to places where the public is invited. In most states, violations are criminal offenses. There is also a federal law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

More recently, legislation has been adopted by a number of states to provide that service animal users whose dogs are harmed or killed by other people or animals due to the negligence of others are able to recover expenses resulting from the injury. These expenses include veterinarian bills, lost wages, and the re-training or replacement of the service dog. The National Federation of the Blind and NAGDU worked diligently to have such laws passed in all 50 States and in the District of Columbia. Similar laws were adopted in Canada and are now being passed in other countries throughout the world. NAGDU works diligently to assist those whose civil rights have been violated.

Here you will find a comprehensive summary of the laws of every state. In some cases, you may even be able to read the actual text of these laws. We have also provided the laws of several other countries for those who travel outside the U.S. If you can help this service by sending us the text of a law, please send it to webmaster@nagdu.org.

Membership Information

We invite anyone interested in issues of guide dog use to join our Association to further our work. Becoming a member of NAGDU is easy, and we want to extend an invitation to you to join an organization on the cutting edge of issues of major concern to guide dog users throughout the world. Joining the National Association of Guide Dog Users also makes you a member of the National Federation of the Blind.

Harness Up

Harness Up, the magazine of the National Association of Guide Dog Users, contains articles and information of interest to guide dog users, as well
as information about the activities of NAGDU and the National Federation of
the Blind. It features articles written by those associated with the guide dog movement and the National Federation of the Blind. Articles have appeared in Harness Up from contributors in the U.S. and abroad. Information about
making submissions and an archive of issues of HarnessUp can be found here!

NAGDU's e-Mail Discussion List

NAGDU sponsors an e-mail discussion list to exchange information with others about guide dog use. This list fosters a sense of community among guide dog users, those interested in learning more about becoming a guide dog handler, guide dog trainers, and puppy raisers, as well as a means to share experiences
with others in the guide dog movement worldwide.

Guide Dog Training Programs

Over the years NAGDU has played an important part in helping to promote the training and use of guide dogs by the blind in a variety of situations. NAGDU has worked with various guide dog training programs to raise awareness of the availability of guide dogs to blind people and to ensure that those wanting a guide dog receive the best possible training in the care and use of these animals.

As a Division of the National Federation of the Blind, NAGDU provides a forum for guide dog users, seeks too promote a positive philosophy of blindness, and acts as advocates for blind people who use guide dogs. NAGDU works to fulfill the stated goal of the National Federation of the Blind: The integration of the blind into society on terms of equality with the sighted.

NAGDU's Board of Directors

Contact information for NAGDU's Board members currently serving can be accessed by following the link above. Any of these individuals can further assist you with your guide dog, and NAGDU-related concerns.

National Federation of The Blind

To learn more about the National Federation of the Blind and it's work visit the NFB's Home page. Or you can contact the NFB by using the information given below:

National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Phone: (410) 659-9314

NFB Net

You will also find many useful resources including articles and other material of interest to the blind, hardware and software manuals, electronic books, software demos, and other items of interest at the NFB Net web site.

For further information about The National Association of Guide Dog Users and its activities, please contact

Marion Gwizdala, President
National Association of Guide Dog Users
National Federation of the Blind
1003 Papaya Drive
Tampa, Florida 33619
(813) 626-2789
president@nagdu.org

For more information, contact

Marion Gwizdala
President
National Association of Guide Dog Users
(813) 626-2789
president@nagdu.org