For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Barlak, 973-775-8350

January 29, 2024


The special 95th-anniversary seal is round with the words The Seeing Eye 95th Anniversary and a silhouette of a shepherd in a leather harness.

Photos are available for publication on Google Drive here.

Morristown, N.J.- Founded in 1929, The Seeing Eye has earned a reputation as a trailblazer in the assistance dog training movement and an advocate for the rights of service dog handlers in the United States and Canada. This year, as the New Jersey-based non-profit organization celebrates its 95th anniversary, it highlights growing concerns in the guide dog handler community around service denials in public spaces and transportation.

“Over the past 95 years, the world has become a more accessible place thanks to technological advancements, shifts in public perception, and legislation that has expanded individual liberties,” said Seeing Eye President and CEO Margaret “Peggi” Howard. “However, we’re alarmed by the rising reports of access denials faced by service dog handlers, including from rideshare companies, airlines, businesses, and restaurants. The Seeing Eye is dedicated to enhancing our efforts to make the world equally accessible and welcoming for guide dog handlers.”

To address these issues, The Seeing Eye Board of Trustees has established a new department focused on raising awareness and support for guide dog handlers. On January 1, 2024, David Johnson was selected to lead this department as the Director of Accessibility, Advocacy and Government Relations. Johnson, who joined The Seeing Eye in 1984, previously served as the Director of Instruction and Training from 2009 to 2023. Joining him is Sr. Specialist of Advocacy & Government Relations Melissa Allman, who joined The Seeing Eye in 2018. She holds a law degree and has devoted her career to pursuing social justice for underserved and minority communities. She is a graduate of The Seeing Eye program, working with a yellow Lab/golden retriever cross Seeing Eye® dog named Luna.

Established in 1929, The Seeing Eye provides specially bred and trained dogs to guide people with blindness and low vision. Seeing Eye dog handlers experience greatly enhanced mobility and independence, allowing them to retain their active lifestyles. The Seeing Eye is a 501(c)3 non-profit supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, bequests, and other planned gifts. The Seeing Eye does not receive government or insurance funding.

The Seeing Eye is a trademarked name and can only be used to describe the dogs bred and trained at the school’s facilities in Morristown, N.J. If you would like more information on The Seeing Eye, please visit the website at, call (973) 539-4425, or email