Users Under 18

Safety and Parent/Guardian Permission

When it comes to users under 18 years of age, safety is a priority. Use of the United In Stride website involves connecting with people online and eventually in person, who are initially strangers.

Parent/guardian permission is required for users under 18 before making an account, but we also encourage the parent/guardian to supervise any activity on and off the site at their discretion.

Read more about our member safety tips on our UIS Best Practices page.

Go through your school district

Reach out to your school’s Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) or Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Instructor

The most direct way to be put into contact with your school’s TVI or O&M Instructor is through the Director of Special Education or Program Specialist.

School districts are required to protect the confidentiality of their student so it could take some time to hear back from a district staff member.

Reach out to your school or district Athletic Director and sport coaches.

They they might already have some idea of who would be interested.

Ask them to pass your request on to all of their teams. Their may be football players, basketball players, swimmers, wrestlers, etc. that are not on the track/cross country team but still run for fitness.

Note: When participating in competitions with a guide, there may be requirements for the guide’s gender, age, etc. for competition and safety purposes.

Options for less direct outreach

Submitting a volunteer guide request into the school or district’s newsletter, social media, or printed flyers at the school work as well, although less reliably.

More options are available on our Building Your Network page.

Use established walking/running communities

Check out local walking/running clubs

Local running clubs provide a great network of individuals in the running and fitness community and it is very possible one of them might have a family member or friend who would be interested in guiding/having a guide.

Joining a club with your parent/guardian can be a great way to introduce yourself to members of the community in coordinated group settings.

Search for nearby para-athletic organizations

While many organizations have focuses on adults and competitive events such as races, many provide services and support for youth as well. Chapters in larger cities (such as Achilles NYC) will often have youth divisions that may have a need for same-aged peers.

See Additional Organizations for para-athletic organizations that may be near you.

Outreach samples

Sample of a request for guides that can be shared with other students and peers:

Seeking volunteers who enjoy running! Many of our classmates run for personal fitness or to train for other sports. If this is you, I need your help.

My name is _______, and I’m a Visually Impaired student at ______ school. I’m seeking 3 to 5 volunteers to train with me once a week so I can participate on the high school track team. No experience is necessary. I can train you how to be a guide. I am looking for run partners who are capable of running 3-miles between (pace range, ie, between 7 min/mile and 9 min/mile). I’m just seeking peers who can commit to helping me once a week, have good communication skills and who have the eyes to see, feet to run and heart to serve. If you have any interest and want to learn more, please contact me at _____.

Sample of an email from a volunteer guide to school athletic directors and/or coaches:

Hi, my name is ______ and I’m as student at ______ school. I am looking to volunteer as a walking/running guide for any visually impaired students who are either on the track/cross-country team or just looking to stay in shape. I am available for runs up to 3 miles at 9 minutes or slower, 2-3 times a week. If you know of any visually impaired students in the ______ school district who may be interested in having a guide please contact me at ______.

Contact Us

Reach out to us on our contact page.

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