ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., May 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Leader Dogs for the Blind, in partnership with Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, will now assist Pennsylvanians through orientation and mobility (O&M) training. Pennsylvania Association for the Blind is the first established state-wide nonprofit to serve the blind population – this partnership will allow the organization to expand the services available to its clients.
Pennsylvania has one of the nation's largest populations of citizens who are 85 years old and over, an age group that increasingly faces low vision and blindness.
"Leader Dog is honored to partner with Pennsylvania Association for the Blind," said Sue Daniels, president and CEO of Leader Dog. "This is the first partnership of its kind in Pennsylvania and we are so looking forward to having a positive impact on those afflicted with low vision and blindness throughout the state."
Pennsylvania Association for the Blind discovered Leader Dogs for the Blind and its services after Leader Dog received its National Accreditation for Blind and Low Vision Services.
"We are very excited to offer this additional option for O&M services to our clients with the help of Leader Dogs for the Blind," said Elaine Welch, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. "This will allow our clients to continue their efforts towards independent living."
Welch is also an active Pennsylvania Lions club member, and Lions are national supporters of Leader Dog.
O&M training empowers people who are blind with the skills needed to travel safely using a white cane in a much shorter timeframe than traditional O&M programs. The one-on-one instruction is tailored to each person's capabilities allowing for individual needs to be met. Training includes using a white cane, utilizing a human guide, using orientation skills and cardinal directions, problem solving along the route, crossing both narrow and wide streets safely, re-orientating, shopping and soliciting assistance when needed.
Pennsylvania Association for the Blind offers individual training, workshops and seminars, transportation assistance, rehabilitation, employment opportunities, summer instructional programs for children, vision screenings, support groups, counseling, and more. The nonprofit works closely with its 26 member agencies located all over the state of Pennsylvania to help its clients.
Leader Dog's presence in Pennsylvania to date includes 13 graduated O&M clients and over 400 clients who have been partnered with a Leader Dog.
About Leader Dogs for the Blind
Rochester Hills, Mich.-based Leader Dogs for the Blind is a nonprofit organization that has been providing independent travel to people who are blind through the use of Leader Dogs since its founding in 1939. Over the years, Leader Dogs for the Blind has provided independent mobility to more than 14,500 individuals. The services of the organization are provided free of charge. The organization also provides classes for orientation and mobility, pedestrian GPS and a summer camp for teens. For more information on Leader Dogs for the Blind, call (888) 777-5332 or visit www.leaderdog.org.
About Pennsylvania Association for the Blind
Pennsylvania Association for the Blind (PAB), located in Mechanicsburg, PA, has a statewide network of 26 member agencies in 32 locations across the state. PAB and its member agencies have been providing support and rehabilitation services to visually impaired Pennsylvanians since 1910. PAB also conducts an extensive Prevention of Blindness program, and annually screens over 80,000 children and adults for vision problems. For more information about PAB and its local member agencies, visit www.pablind.org or call 717-766-2020.
SOURCE Leader Dogs for the Blind