[nagdu] tonight's attempt at streaming and the resolution

Michael Hingson Mike at michaelhingson.com
Tue Jul 2 22:22:49 UTC 2013


Thanks for your email.  Paul Lopez and I will have a meeting tomorrow at
lunch.  Please know that what I present are not my concerns, but the
concerns of all those who have lost faith in GDB and those who no longer
trust the leadership. 


Michael Hingson

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Daniel
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 02:04 PM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Subject: Re: [nagdu] tonight's attempt at streaming and the resolution

Hi Michael,

I have been curious if Paul Lopez has even attempted to seek you out at all
for any conversation while he is attending the conference for his training
presentations representing GDB. Have you had any response to the resolution?
Given the fact he is present for training discussion, I would think it would
be the perfect time to address your concerns.  Then again his public
relations firm may have advised him to stay focused on his presentation and
avoid any other contact. I am simply curious. His silence on the entire
matter is quite deafening, and the response so far from the board seems to
me to be as much a matter of arrogance as it does incompetence in carrying
out its responsibility to the clients and alumni.
Just my two cents.

Daniel and Cass
Lakewood, Colorado

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Michael Hingson
Sent: Monday, July 01, 2013 8:27 PM
To: gdblounge at yahoogroups.com; 'NFB Talk Mailing List'; 'NAGDU Mailing
List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Subject: [nagdu] tonight's attempt at streaming and the resolution


Well, as some of you observed the hard way we had limited success at
bringing you the NAGDU meeting.  The hotel was unable to give us what we
really needed, at least at an affordable price.  We tried to use a Bluetooth
connection and an iPhone.  It mostly worked until the phone rang and we lost
the Bluetooth connection.

We had some good speakers discussing access for service dogs at the Disney
resorts.  Also a representative from the zoo industry also spoke about the
accreditation process for zoos.  It's a bit all over the map, but access for
our guide dogs is supported and encouraged.  Disney is extremely supportive
these days.

The meeting, as you know, began with a resolution about GDB.  The resolution
passed eighteen to 4.  I am including the full resolution below.

We shall try again Wednesday.  If we can make something more substantial
work I'll let all y'all know.  Now, here is the resolution.  Feel free to
share this as it is now a matter of the NAGDU record.

Mike Hingson

Resolution urging the Corporate Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind to Instate
Appropriate Leadership 

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind was formed by the blind of the
United States to represent blind Americans in order to secure equality,
security, and opportunity for all blind people in the United States
including ensuring their full and active participation in agencies and
organizations serving the blind; and

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest organization of
the blind in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the NFB is concerned when agencies and organizations purporting to
serve the blind systematically exclude blind stakeholders from true
involvement and participation; and

WHEREAS, Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has recently taken actions that
negatively affect its blind consumers; and

WHEREAS, GDB asserts that it has always been about relationships, 
1.	matching just the right guide dog with the right person for safe,
independent travel; 
2.	building relationships with graduates in the field while providing
excellent and comprehensive follow-up services; 
3.	creating opportunities for relationships between handlers and their
guides and puppy raisers and fostering appreciation of contributions of
money and service; and

WHEREAS, its current leadership has unjustly laid off many highly respected
employees whose considerable expertise and experience have provided
outstanding graduate services and who deserve credit for making GDB the fine
organization it is today; And

WHEREAS, the field area managers have been cut from twelve to six,
dramatically increasing the number of graduates assigned to each, creating
fewer opportunities for relationship building with unconvincing assurances
that a call center staffed by six can adequately handle the highly
individualized needs of over 2000 working teams; and

WHEREAS, the reorganization plan will decrease the time field
representatives can spend with individuals in their regions because of the
layoffs and early retirement of highly respected professionals who have
played major roles in creating and setting high industry standards; and

WHEREAS, in the past, positive staff/consumer relations have made Guide Dogs
for the Blind a safe place where clients have been able to trust that their
best interests and individual needs would be respected and receive prompt
attention; and

WHEREAS, the current management’s recent actions represent an unwelcome
return to the paternalistic decision-making that the blind had hoped was
behind us; and

WHEREAS, it is time for consumers’ points of view to be more powerfully
represented, heard, and acted upon; and

WHEREAS, GDB's current leadership has demonstrated its lack of awareness of
the organization's unique corporate culture by failing to address serious
consumer concerns while continuing to assert that all is well; and

WHEREAS, by enacting unpopular and sweeping changes before analyzing the
results of a recent graduate survey, current leadership clearly indicates
its lack of understanding of and concern for the consumer point of view; and

WHEREAS, the leadership of GDB has removed blind employees from jobs they
had held for more than ten years and performed well, moving them to a new
back room call center rather than allowing them to function in jobs for
which they were trained while serving as visible positive role models for
the blind and the general public, an act that calls into question the value
GDB leadership places on blind employees; and

WHEREAS, GDB's mission is not being fulfilled when current senior
1.	Suddenly lays off excellent employees who for many represent, the
voice and face of GDB; 
2.	Reduces the number of graduate support field managers from twelve to
3.	Creates a new customer call center that is expected to provide the
same personalized graduate support previously accomplished by the twelve
outside field support staff; 
4.	Fails to recognize the high importance of having blind people
employed in all areas of the organization including jobs that keep them in
meaningful positions interacting with tourists and other visitors to the
campus; and

WHEREAS, only the board of Guide Dogs for the Blind can remedy the
leadership problems that threaten the future integrity of GDB. 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Association of Guide Dog
Users, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, in its annual
meeting assembled on this first day of July, 2013, in Orlando, Florida, that
this organization condemn and deplore the actions of the current leadership
of Guide Dogs for the Blind; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this
organization call upon the corporate board of Guide Dogs for the Blind to
take the necessary actions to put in place qualified appropriate leadership
to restore the trust which has been deeply eroded by unjustified layoffs and
devastating cuts to consumer support services; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED
that this organization call upon Guide Dogs for the Blind not only to return
its relocated blind employees to the jobs they were performing until they
were moved to the back room call center but also to increase the number of
blind employees throughout every department at GDB; and BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, that this organization call upon the corporate Board of Guide Dogs
for the Blind to require that a minimum of 51% of its directors be consumers
and immediately establish stronger linkage between GDB consumers and the
corporate board.

The Michael Hingson Group, INC.
"Speaking with Vision"
Michael Hingson, President
(415) 827-4084
mike at michaelhingson.com
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Hingson's speaking availability for your next event please visit:
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