Portland, OR. Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) held its 2019 Alumni Reunion in Portland during the weekend of October 18th. Over 150 attendees, many of whom were blind or visually impaired, traveled to Portland with their guide dogs from across the U.S. and Canada. (Photo credit, Morry Angell, Guide Dogs for the Blind.)
The first day of the reunion featured activities for attendees to experience Portland through the senses of taste, touch and sound. Activities included indoor rock climbing and a walking tour of downtown Portland. Each activity was chosen with blind and visually impaired visitors in mind to create a tactile experience.
Saturday featured various educational sessions for GDB alumni, as well as friends and family members. Some of these sessions included: a quality of life workshop hosted by the OHSU Casey Eye Institute, a discussion for sighted attendees on ways to support their blind or visually impaired friend or family member and a beginner’s guide to identifying North American bird songs.
The 2019 Alumni Reunion ended with a red carpet celebration and a screening of the IFC-produced documentary film Pick of the Litter, which follows a litter of GDB puppies on their journey to become trained guide dogs. The film was shown in anticipation of the upcoming Disney-produced documentary TV series of the same name, scheduled to air on the Disney+ platform starting on December 20th.
Here’s the trailer of that documentary:
From Guild Dogs for the Blind:
GDB has a Portland area campus in nearby Boring, Oregon. Various GDB events take place at the Boring campus throughout the year, as well as campus tours and graduations that are open to the public. Interested members of the public can find more information on the nonprofit’s Boring campus tours and graduations here.