Holding a doctor of philosophy in social work, Margaret Ann Dimond serves as an assistant professor at Michigan State University. Dr. Dimond also earned two master’s degrees, one in public administration from the University of Michigan and the other in social work from Boston College. Outside of her professional duties, Margaret Ann Dimond is a board member of Leader Dogs for the Blind.
Attributed as a “Best in America” charity by the Independent Charities of America, Leader Dogs for the Blind provides guide dogs to people who are blind or visually impaired. Incorporated by three Detroit-based Lions Clubs members in 1939, the organization’s mission is to enhance the mobility of visually challenged people and help them develop lifelong skills to move independently.
Leader Dogs for the Blind offers a range of programs to accommodate the needs of various clients. Some of the major programs are:
– 25 days of personalized residential training in using guide dogs;
– accelerated orientation and mobility training that teaches people who are blind to use the white cane safely in seven days;
– deaf-blind guide dog training for dogs escorting individuals who are both deaf and blind; and
– GPS technologies that aid in finding locations, directions, and related information through verbal cues.
For more information about Leader Dogs for the Blind and its programs, visit www.leaderdog.org.
Margaret Ann Dimond, assistant professor at Michigan State University, is a dog lover, having fostered and placed over 45 dogs. Seeing the potential in having a canine companion, and always a champion for the rights and safety of our four legged friends, Margaret Ann Dimond supports Leader Dogs for the Blind, an organization founded almost 80 years ago to empower those with visual and hearing disabilities by returning their independence.
Leader Dogs for the Blind sees each client as an individual, and seeks to provide the perfect dog to assist with all specific needs. Those who have difficulty with mobility can participate in the organization’s training program in order to orient them with their new companion. For young people, a summer camp offers them a chance to spend time with their peers while developing their independence. GPS devices are also available for those who are hesitant about venturing outside of their comfort zone.
The dogs raised to be leader dogs go through various training programs to prepare them for this important job. They are trained to handle many types of weather, terrain, and situations, and are often raised by volunteers. For the first year of their life, leader dogs are learning new things each and every day and are expected to be very well socialized and housebroken. A guide dog is a friend that can certainly change the lives of clients as well as volunteers.
An assistant professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Margaret Ann Dimond is an avid supporter of animal rescue organizations. In her local community, Margaret Ann Dimond serves as a board member with Leader Dogs for the Blind, a nonprofit organization that helps train dogs to assist individuals with visual impairments and disabilities.
Leader Dogs for the Blind recently invited the public to tour its newly opened Canine Development Center in Rochester Hills, Michigan, at the corner of Rochester and Avon roads.
The 75,000-square-foot facility cost $14.5 million to build and takes the place of the on-site kennels the organization previously used. The new facility is home to 255 kennels and will be used to breed, train, and care for the organization’s current and future animals. It is expected the new center will provide a less stressful environment in which to train the dogs, as well as help them to better socialize with one another.
Leader Dogs for the Blind has helped more than 14,500 people become more independent with the use of assistance animals for mobility.
Before she became the CEO and president of Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, Margaret Ann Dimond worked as an assistant professor at Michigan State University. Outside of her career, Margaret Ann Dimond is involved in Leader Dogs for the Blind.
Leader Dogs for the Blind hosts Harness the Power of Leadership, a one-day business leadership training program designed for entry- or mid-level managers and newly formed teams. The training involves dogs and uses the relationship between guide dog and owner as a starting point.
Each participant is assigned a leader dog. As a team, both the dog and the person must learn to communicate with and trust each other. The experience emphasizes the importance of giving clear instructions and positive reinforcement. Work with the dogs culminates in a blindfolded walk experience, which enables participants to use the skills they learned. Harness the Power of Leadership also includes keynote presentations designed to motivate audiences to view business from different perspectives.
An assistant professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Margaret Ann Dimond is a longtime supporter of animal rescue organizations in her community. Margaret Ann Dimond serves as a board member with Leader Dogs for the Blind, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with visual impairments and disabilities.
Leader Dogs for the Blind encourages volunteers to become puppy raisers. Volunteers must commit to 12-15 months of service, during which time they will housebreak the puppy and teach it good behavior such as staying off furniture and not begging at the table. Puppy raisers also teach puppies basic commands and socialize them by exposing them to a variety of people, animals, and environments.
In terms of financial responsibilities, puppy raisers must purchase all food, leashes, toys, and replacement collars for their puppies. Leader Dogs for the Blind allows puppy raisers to bring their dogs to in-house veterinarians for free care. However, if puppy raisers do not live near a Leader Dogs center, local veterinarians often provide discounts for volunteer puppy raisers.