“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

– Helen Keller

If you or someone you know is under 18 years old, blind or visually impaired and a resident of Hawaii, we offer technology aids to enhance communication, adaptive aids to promote independence in everyday activities and create social opportunities to build a life of confidence.

Join our optimistic youth clients as they build technology and social skills that will prepare them for life.

Our youth services are described below. If you need something that we don’t offer, email us and together, let’s find a way to conquer barriers.

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

Get Ahead with Technology (GAP)

The registration table from a Student Led Conference. Two teenage boys use their braille and magnifying devices to sign in guests.

Designed to level the playing field in education, our GAP program:

  • Provides technology aids allowing them independent access to educational materials
  • Inspires students to take ownership of their learning experiences
  • Create opportunities to develop social and mobility skills

Some of the technology aids we provide are:

  • Braille devices such as Braille writers and note takers
  • Audio devices such as portable talking MP3 players and talking color identifiers.
  • Hand held desktop and portable magnifiers
  • Assistive software such as screen readers and magnifiers
  • Standalone devices such as document readers, scanners and organizers
A boy in grade school sits beside his teacher as he uses a portable CCTV to enlarge the text of his book.

We know learning extends outside of the classroom so we:

  • Provide access to games, recreational books and hands-on activities
  • Identify interests and create social opportunities while building relationships

Preschoolers don’t need to wait until they get into the school system to build confidence.  Get Ahead with Technology program:

  • Provides adaptive toys to practice social skills
  • Introduces colors, shapes, sounds and textures through tactile books, material and activities
  • Encourages literacy with Braille and large print books

Camp Get Ahead

A group of teens are heading to the pool. One girl is adjusting her backpack, turning her back to the camera and showing a Camp Get Ahead t-shirt. The boy on the right wears his towel around his neck and smiles as he looks toward the girl in the middle - who is holding her white cane in one hand and towel in the other. She has an enormous smile as she's in the middle of laughing.

Since 2018, youths from age 12 to 18 would spend 10 days at camp under the supervision of our program staff and volunteers.  This camp experience provides the opportunity for our youths to come together outside of school and build friendships while they learn independent living skills, showcase talents, learn to work as a team and nurture their leadership skills.

With every social experience, campers gain a greater confidence from:

  • Building and strengthening friendships
  • Developing self-awareness and confidence
  • Learning to self-advocate
  • Building appropriate social skills
  • Engaging in physical activities
  • Interdependence and Independence

Giants of Technology, Youth Achievers (GOT YA!)

Elementary and middle school students referred by their teacher for the visually impaired have the opportunity to expand their technology skills.  They learn individually at their own pace and come together to share experiences and support each other.

  • Gain advanced technology skills
  • Expand knowledge
  • Build leadership skills
  • Cultivate communication skills
  • Achieve greater confidence

With the help of Hawaii’s dedicated Teachers for the Visually Impaired, this project has been designed and customized to meet our student’s growing technological needs as they move toward adulthood.  Qualifying students:

  • Should be a user of a Braille device, screen magnifier or screen reader
  • Must have a willingness to learn
  • Must be able to work both independently and in a group

If you know a child who you believe will benefit from this program, request an assessment and referral from the child’s TVI.

We want to provide our youth achievers a path to become Giants of Technology!

Connect the Dots

A middle-school aged boy holds up a tablet device that's displaying a photo with large text.

A podcast team of youths between ages 12 to 18 come together to create podcasts about anything a blind or visually impaired youth wants to share or learn about and are focused on providing a vehicle where youths may come together to reinforce their skills in talent, public speaking, experience and networking.

The podcast team

  • Brainstorms podcast topics
  • Researches and writes the scripts
  • Operates all podcast equipment
  • Records the presentation
  • Edits and releases the podcast

Interested in joining the crew?  Email us for more information.

Youth Week

Students age 10 and older are invited to unwind and spend their Spring, Fall and Winter school breaks amongst their peers for a fun filled week at the GDH Center. By participating in our free week-long youth program, our blind and visually impaired students have the opportunity to learn new skills among their friends like:

  • Building and strengthen friendships
  • Expand O&M skills
  • Improve communication skills
  • Gain new experiences through hands on accessible activities
  • Express themselves in a judgement free space
  • Make lasting memories

Words from Our Clients

Young girl with a pony tail and a Guide Dogs of Hawaii t-shirt runs across a grass field. Her fellow campers await her on the side.

“Thank you for letting me have this camp experience. It was my first time going to a camp and it was fun. Learning new things about the blind was fun. I like how we learned to how to use a cane and reading Braille. I learned a lot more than I expected.”

– Myshya Goings – Client
A teenage girl stands outside in front of plants and a white fence, wearing a blue dress.

“I love GDH. If I wasn’t part of GDH, I’d be so bored. Camp is my all-time favorite activity to join! I look forward to it every year. I love getting to see all my friends, do arts and crafts, and play games! I was sad that we didn’t have a sleepover camp this year, but I’m happy that we even got to come to the office for spring break camp.”

Dominique Pelen-Lopez – client

Young boy smiles and throws a shaka while showing his iPad to the camera. The iPad is in a keyboard case and displays the Guide Dogs of Hawaii logo on the screen.

“Thank you for the thoughtful support! The iPad and its related accessories that you sent to Lorenzo via Teacher for the Visually Impaired were thoughtful and very useful tools. They brightened up his day and will surely enhance his growth and academic environments for years to come. He was very excited when he received it at school. He brought it home and could not contain his happiness, that moment was priceless for the whole family. As the parents of Lorenzo we whole-heartedly appreciate your support and will cherish the fact that Guide Dogs of Hawaii was so gracious in assisting our special needs son.”

Yumiko Barry – Parent
A teenage boy smiles for a photo in a button up shirt.

“Thank you guide dogs of Hawaii for providing me with the tools I need to succeed. I use these technologies for school and my own personal use. It’s helped me a lot in many ways.”

Robbie Crouch- Client

“I feel great about getting to come here for Halloween youth week. I’ve been having fun getting to meet new friends and do different activities. If I didn’t come here I’d just be watching tv at home. My favorite activity has been playing Portuguese horseshoes. It’s the first time I’ve ever played it but it was so fun.”

Skayboy – Client

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