For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Gary C. Norman, Esq., CEO and President
Maryland Area Guide Dog Users, Inc.
Cecelia M. Warren, Vice President and Program Chair
Maryland Area Guide Dog Users, Inc.
Leading Maryland Non-profit Service Animal Organization To Host Canine Partnership Series in 2008-2009
April 12, 2008 - Canine Partnership Series: Relationships with Law Enforcement
During the next 16 months, Maryland Area Guide Dog Users, Inc. (MAGDU) will conduct several one-day technical assistance conferences, entitled, the Canine Partnership Series. MAGDU board members and volunteers plan to host the events, approximately every four months, in such cities and counties as, Baltimore City and Montgomery County.
According to Gary Norman of Baltimore, who serves as president of MAGDUI, “Our goal is to bring together a diverse contingent of influential elected and appointed officials, civil leaders and professionals to engage in dialogue and find solutions to problems that often confront guide dog handlers, those who raise guide dogs in training and others who are concerned with their welfare or would otherwise benefit from enhanced information sharing. Each one-day conference, will utilize the platform of a forum to focus on a different partnership with a specific targeted audience.”
The first event associated with Maryland-Area Guide Dog Users’ “Canine Partnership Series” will be hosted on April 12, 2008, from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. The topic for this presentation will be Partnership with Law Enforcement.
The themes of the one-day conferences for 2008-09 will be:
· Partnerships with Law Enforcement
· Partnerships with the Veterinarian Community and Related Animal Medical Professionals
· Partnerships with State and Local Government Authorities and Agencies and Partnerships with the Media
· Partnerships among Puppy Raisers and Guide Dog Handlers with the Business Community
Cecelia Warren of Annapolis, who is serving as program chair of the series says, “MAGDUI sincerely looks forward to interconnecting the interests and commitment of a diverse cohort of organizations and individuals at our conferences. Too often, the blindness community does not look beyond itself to find solutions to problems of access and misunderstanding. We look forward to the opportunities for nurturing new relationships and mutual understanding that can come from our focus on targeted audiences and specific situations...”
Laura Norman, Executive Assistant to the board, explains, “As the sighted wife of a guide dog user, I have been surprised to learn just how much misunderstanding there is out there about guide dogs and working teams. I have been amazed by the amount of misinformation and outright ignorance about access and etiquette on the part of some members of the general public. As a Licensed Social Worker, my approach to finding solutions to the problems that arise from misinformation and lack of understanding is to provide opportunities for education and links with community-based resources.”
This series, the first of its kind in the state of Maryland, possesses lofty, and achievable, aims.
The conference on April 12 will discuss important issues and trends in training law enforcement how to effectively interact with the handlers of guide dogs and guide dogs in training. A silent auction will be hosted throughout the day at the conference to benefit another first of its kind initiative in the state – a fund for the costs of extraordinary medical care to guide dogs. This conference will be hosted at the King Farm Community Center in Montgomery County.
”We look forward to you attending and being an active participant at these conferences as we formulate solutions to pressing issues impacting guide dogs and guide dogs in training,” said Gary.
MAGDUI constitutes a Section 501c3 non-profit in the state whose charitable purpose is to educate about and advocate on behalf of guide dog questions. For more information about our conferences, including, conference materials and driving directions, or to provide a tax deductible contribution, please refer to www.magdu.org.