“Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

For blind or visually impaired residents of Hawaii over the age of 18, we offer support services to help maintain general wellness, independence in the home and community, improve technology and mobility skills and find ways to cope with every day challenges.

Whether looking to improve job skills, establish new travel routes or learn new ways to cope with aging, we can help. No challenge is too big or small.

Not a client yet? Register now and learn ways to conquer barriers!

Individuals Striving for Equal Employment (iSEE)

A youth client sitting at a table with his laptop in front of him.

Our iSEE participants receive the necessary tools and training to help them attain a higher education and/or gainful employment.

Why clients sign up for iSEE:

  • Job requirements changed
  • To change employment
  • To meet higher education standards
  • To be more independent and self-reliant
  • To develop stronger social skills

Seniors Harnessing Independence & Empowerment (SHINE)

A group of clients gathered at Ko'olina beach park for lunch and sun-time.

SHINE is an individualized program for blind and visually impaired Seniors age 55 and over.

As we get older, our vision may naturally weaken, but with appropriate aids and training, one’s love for cooking, baking, traveling, reading and more can still be fulfilled.

Blind and visually impaired seniors need to learn disability-specific skills to accomplish daily and routine tasks. The three critical disability-specific skill areas are:

  • Independent Living Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Mobility Skills

In addition, seniors enjoy a variety of social activities and wellness workshops to promote physical and mental wellness.

Orientation & Mobility (O&M)

A group of clients sitting around a table at the "senior prom."

In our experience, for blind and visually impaired individuals, a structured routine that fits one’s lifestyle provides a sense of security and comfort.  Embracing a new way of life can be intimidating and discouraging.

Having confidence in one’s O&M skills is critical for an individual’s independence in mobility. GDH understands that there are times when a new travel route is necessary. We also understand that sometimes reinforced training will be helpful. We encourage everyone to get out into the community, so we are happy to provide O&M support services to help people travel confidently and safely.

Words From Our Clients

A senior client stands on a porch and is holding up a shaka.

“Mahalo GDH for all the goodies I received. The presents were like Christmas but even better. I have been using the magnifier to read the newspaper…especially the comics and feature stories. The measuring bowls and measuring cups are most useful when I cook. The Handivan coupons are a great help for shopping for groceries and visiting the doctors.”

– Schalene Kobashigawa, Client
A senior client stands at a table using a CCTV to read poems from her notebook.

“If you ask me how would I describe Guide Dogs of Hawaii in one word, it would be independence because it follows support, encouragement and self-reliance. GDH supports my goals, encourages me to be aware of my full potential and helped me to appreciate my ability to stand on my own and have a strong support system. GDH helped me gain independence.”

– Charmaine Birchard, Client
A man stands against the wall in a Lynard Skynyrd shirt holding his white cane.

“Guide Dogs of Hawaii has been great. I really enjoy participating in the different games that they host. It’s a great and safe place for us to socialize since the pandemic.”

Richard Koja – Client

A man smiles for a photo with his thumb on his chin and index finger on his cheek.

“I’m not very creative, or experienced at arts & crafts but I love getting to try new things that I’ve never done before. It’s a lot of fun. I live alone, so I enjoy getting to come out and interact with other people.”

Stanley King – Client
A woman holds her white cane and shakes a man's hand.

“Mahalo to Guide Dogs of Hawaii for all of their fun, interesting and informative activities. I have really enjoyed collecting and sharing recipes, playing bingo and making crafts. Some of the craft items I have made are: an acrylic soap dish and holder, decorating a cigar box and weaving a basket.”

– Laureen Kukino – Client

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