Welcome to Dixie Land Guide Dog Users Online, and Top Dog-2019!

We Dixie Land Guide Dog Users are the South Carolina affiliate of Guide Dog Users, Inc. Our tails are wagging! Due to the amazing response to our Top Dog-Charleston, 2019, our event hotel is booked to capacity and we are no longer taking registrations. Our heartfelt thanks to all of our registered attendees! We can't wait to see you in January!
For those of you who cannot attend in person, keep those ears up and stay tuned for our recorded sessions to be announced!

Contact the Dixie Land Guide Team!

Contact the Dixie Land Guide Team!
Dixie Land GDU, Inc., 1608 Acacia St., Charleston, SC 29407 (843) 571-0737

We provide education for the sighted community and peer mentoring with advocacy for the blindness community (guide dog, cane and sighted guide users alike), while promoting one community at large.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spring and Summer Highlights

Audrey talks with scouts

Our president, Audrey Gunter, talks with Lowcountry Boy Scouts at this year’s Spring Rally as part of our “Paws 2 Educate” Initiative. We Dixie Land Guide Dog Users believe that the key to a better understanding of the blindness community among the community at large lies in our creating a positive presence within that community. As young people learn to drive, they are taught that blind pedestrians have the right of way, but they are often not taught how to identify a blind pedestrian. This gathering of the Lowcountry Boy Scouts provided a wonderful opportunity for us to share this information with over one hundred future drivers! We also assisted the boys in earning their merit badges for Disabilities Awareness.

art lesson on the square

As the summer began, we gathered at Francis Marion Square for an afternoon of music, fellowship, food and art appreciation. This gathering was part of our “Keeping Families Focused” initiative. Local Artist Danita Cole gave Dixie Landers, our families and guests the opportunity to create our own unique tactile art using melted bees wax of different colors with a variety of objects and cutout shapes. Lunch was provided, thanks to the sponsorship of Retina Consultants of Charleston.

Pastor Dave laughing with Shelby and Laurel

We were honored by several guests who accepted our invitation to attend this event. Here, our Secretary/Treasurer Laurel Jean talks with Shelby, one of our “outa sight” youth, and Pastor Dave Andrus, Director of St. Louis, Missouri’s Lutheran Blind Mission. Pastor Dave was visiting Charleston to help start a Christian outreach center for the blind here in the Lowcountry.

local NFB president Nia Green creating her artwork

We were also honored to have in attendance Miss Nia Green, president of our local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.

Laurel with Pastor Ed and Pastor Dave at Calvary Lutheran Church

Here, Laurel Jean poses with Pastor Ed Grant of Calvary Lutheran Church, Charleston, SC and Pastor Dave Andrus, Lutheran Blind Mission, St. Louis, MO. Dixie Landers have been actively participating in the beginning of the Friends of Bartimaeus Christian Outreach Center for the Blind, one of over 60 such outreach centers throughout the United States. Our thanks to everyone at Calvary Lutheran Church for serving as the host site and supporting church for this unique ministry!

Taylor demonstrates Pacmate to summer day campers

Our Vice President, Taylor Jones Stebbins, demonstrates accessible technology to Living History Summer Day Campers, showing them how he can play computer games as they do. The games are sound-based and allow him to use his keyboard with speech and Braille output to navigate them.

Dixie Land presents to Summer Bark Camp

Dixie Land’s “Paws 2 Educate” Initiative played an active role in two summer day camps this year. Our thanks to Miss De with the ASPCA along with Miss Patti Smith and the City of Charleston, for making us part of their summer camp schedules!

Brianna's guide takes a break at Bark Camp

People rarely get to see a guide dog out of harness. Here, fellow Dixie Lander Brianna Murray allows her guide to take a break during one of our visits to the ASPCA Summer Bark Camp.

Laurel demonstrates braille at Bark Camp

Also at Bark Camp, Laurel Jean introduces day campers to Braille, helping them to write their names and showing them the Braille alphabet.

Audrey and Brianna present to summer day campers

Back at the Living History Day Camp, Audrey and Brianna talk about guide dogs and answer questions.

Laurel reads to summer day campers

Laurel shares more about Braille literacy by reading to the campers. As the children tell “Miss Laurel” about the pictures in the book and she reads to them, important lessons are learned about how the blind and the sighted can work together.

Laurel teaches sighted guide to summer day campers

Laurel demonstrates the “sighted guide technique,” the proper way to assist and walk with someone who does not see.

Taylor demonstrates cane to summer day campers

Taylor demonstrates the proper use of a long, white cane.

Brianna and her guide hang out with kids at Rehobeth UMC

Brianna and Lacy take a break and enjoy spending time with children after a special Worship service at Rehobeth United Methodist Church, McBeth, SC.

Laurel sings with kids at Rehobeth UMC

Our thanks to the folks at Rehobeth for scheduling Music By Laurel Jean and making her invited Dixie Land guests feel so welcome! The fall schedule already has our “paws to the pavement.” Watch for more highlights like these! Thanks for your ongoing support!

About Us

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Charleston, SC, United States
Dixie Land Guide Dog Users is the South Carolina Affiliate of Guide Dog Users, Inc., the largest guide dog-related organization In the United States.