TSA presents Community Partner Award to Guide Dog Foundation and America's VetDogs 


SMITHTOWN, NY (September 17, 2015) The Transportation Security Administration has awarded the  Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., and America’s VetDogs both of Smithtown, New York, the Community Partnership award for the organization's dedication to working collaboratively with the TSA to improve the checkpoint screening process for the constituencies they work with and represent.

The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs of Smithtown, New York have consistently provided support and advocacy to promote TSA programs and initiatives educating consumers and sharing feedback and information to TSA’s Disability Branch and TSA personnel at airports across the country. They provided a targeted training webinar to TSA employees focused on individuals who are blind and use guide dogs. Jenine Stanley, the Consumer Relations Coordinator at Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., and America’s VetDogs was a presenter at a recent multicultural and disability coalition meeting on service animals and the TSA screening process. The organizations have also provided training to TSA officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport on how best to interact with individuals who are blind and use guide dogs as they traverse through the airport and they also developed a best practice document for TSA on engagement with individuals who are blind and use guide dogs.

“The Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs is honored to work with the TSA on the development of new procedures and to help provide training to TSA staff on how to interact with people with disabilities,” says Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs CEO Wells Jones.  “By working together, we can help ensure that people who use guide and service dogs have a more pleasant travel experience.”

“Both of these dedicated organizations have been critical to the success of TSA’s ongoing efforts in the area of civil rights and liberties,” said Kimberly Walton, TSA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement. “We honor them for their exceptional contribution to TSA’s efforts to enhance the traveler experience and ensure the traveling public is treated in a fair and lawful manner through education of our workforce.”

The awards were presented during TSA’s 13th Annual TSA Coalition Conference

About the Guide Dog Foundation

For 70 years, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to people who are blind, have low vision, or who have other special needs.  The Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to serve people with disabilities. It costs more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but the Guide Dog Foundation provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.  

The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind was the first assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

To learn more or to donate, visit www.GuideDog.org. 

About America’s VetDogs®  

Since 2003, America’s VetDogs has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including of fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.  America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation that relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.  

America’s VetDogs was the second assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

To learn more or to donate, visit www.VetDogs.org