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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Hi Everybody!

HI how is everyone? I am new to the message board and I am really excited to start talking to people with other visual impairments! All of my friends have normal sight. I am really happy to finally have a place to connect with other people like my self who go through some of the same struggles that I do. Right know I am attending high school and college at the same time. Even though it is a lot of work at times it is extremely rewarding. I am from NC.

There are currently 34 replies


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Hi.
My name is Tyler. I have byladeral optic nerve hypoplasia. Meaning that my optic nerve didn't fully develop.


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Hi Tyler! I have ritinitis Pigmontosa. So basically my peripheral vision is whithering away. What are your interests?


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Tyler,

Were you at the AFB Leadership Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida. One of the people I work with thought you were there. If you were, I didn't get the chance to meet you.

Sincerely,
Joe S.
AFB Staff


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Joe, when was it. My interests are video games, computers, and assistive technology. tThose are the main interests.


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Hi, i'm Lindsay and i have optic nerve atrophy, which what i understand means my optic nerve is deteriorating.
I'm from NC as well.
Lindsay


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Guessing that it wasn't you then. It was May 3-5th.

Hope you all are having a good week!

Sincerely,
Joe S.


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No. I was in school from 3rd-4th.


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Hi on Monday I will learn how good a GPS would work for us blind people. I'm very excited. I will let you all know how it went. I always have fun doing O&M with my instructer Bob Steels. JC


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That sounds really cool and helpful! I am not completely blind yet but it still sounds like a good resource.


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Well I'm just at home right now, downloading star trek books with my lovely new bookshare account, about to go to bed, well my bedroom, and read the night away! :D


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Gps's are cool. I downloaded the Ariadne gps app and when I can get a signal it's brilliant. Right now I'm getting ready for bed while responding to a few forums


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I have never worked with a gps before. It seems like an awesome idea! I am going to be talking to someone tomorrow about getting a guide dog. I have no clue what I want to ask. My biggest question though is if I should go ahead and get one or wait until I go off to college. I am a rising senior. After my senior year I have an extra year because i am getting a 2 year associates degree while I am in high school. I am hoping I will get into Meredith College.


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That is a good question, college is a big adjustment in general. I always tell students that they should try to get all technology and such early, so they become adjusted to using it prior to classes starting. I would probably put a guide dog in the same category, but not all guide dog schools will accept high school students for dogs. But, most will take students prior to starting college, such as in the summer. Adjusting to any big change is a trial, but there are a lot of benefits to a guide dog while traveling on a college campus and in general. I am sure we could list a lot of positives for both a cane and a guide dog. The truth is that guide dog is a much smoother and faster method to travel, but their are some added responsibilities. You obviously have to take care of the dog. This includes feeding, walking, picking up after, providing water, grooming, and the cost of all of these aspects. These are all things to consider when thinking about a guide dog. Guide dogs can be great conversation starters, as well. You also should have good orienation and mobility skills prior to getting a dog.

I encourage you to contact the schools you are interested in attending and research it. These schools are pretty open about the responsibility of it all.

Good luck!

Sincerely,
Joe S.
AFB Staff


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Thank you for your input Joe. I have always had dogs and other pets in my life. They help me relax. I'm just really nervous about going to California of New York by myself for a month. I have another year to think about it. I think it will be well worth it if I can get over my anxiety about being off by myself in a huge new place.


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I'd get it now if i were you but that's just me. I'm in the process of getting a guide dog right now from Guide dogs for the blind. I am a rising senior too. I am waiting on feedback right now on my application. I'm starting to get a little impatient about it though. Especially with summer coming up. I hope to get to go to the next June class so i can have plenty of bonding time with the dog before i start back to school. Right now i'm waiting on them to call and arrange the home consultation. I really hope its soon. I plan to be the first guide dog team in North Carolina to run high school cross country if it all works out.
Lindsay


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Lindsay you make a valid point about bonding with the dog. I really hope that you can become the first guide dog team to run cross country. I am also looking into guide dogs for the blind. I read about their dorm situation and I read that the staff is really devoted to their work. It makes me feel better about leaving home. I have never been away from home more than a week. The farthest place I have been is Myrtle beach. I haven't walked anywhere by myself either. I live in a country area with no were to walk to. I love living out here but sometimes it can be really aggravating. What colleges are you looking into?


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Your situation sounds just like mine. I can't go anywhere by myself but like the dollar store. Since i live in the country.I've gone on two week long trips before with my church but I haven't gone on any since I lost most of my vision. After high school I'm going to GTCC and get a criminal justice degree along with a graphic design degree then I'll either transfer to a 4 year at either UNCG or a out of state college or go to The Art institute or New York film academy


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Lindsay that sounds really cool! I want to go into child psychology. I will probably go to Meredith or Weslyn. Have you looked into a transition conceler? The service is pretty new. They can help pay for a lot of your college expenses and they have sessions were they teach you to live independently. They can also get technology for you. I am going to a mini camp in June. It will be my first chance to pysichally meet other people similar to me.


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Yeah, she's been really helpful for me, thanks to her i got to work at Woods of Terror this past fall. I plan to go to camp this summer providing i hear from guide dogs soon. It's been putting me on hold as far as camp currently.


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It seems like they are taking a long time to get back with you. I plan to possibly apply for a dog this time next year. I just don't know about going all the way to San Rafeal. I think I could do it for 2 weeks but not for 4. I saw that training can last from2 to 4 weeks but I don't know what establishes it. A dog to me seems much better than cane. I feel like a dog can keep me calm when I do have to go out into a busy situation and such.


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I've read a lot of their classes last 3 weeks. Personally i don't think i'll be too worried about going as long as 4 weeks tho. There's always email and skype if i got home sick as well as phone calls of course. I'm kind of looking forward to it. It'll be an adventure. I've always wanted to go to California too so there's a plus there. I agree, that's one reason why i wanted a dog.


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Well I was thinking about a dog to but Joes point makes sence. I've been told the same way. You ownly feed it twice per day, the shots are very exspencive. Some people like kains better. I recently took the city bus to the mall with my instructer. I think its very complacated there are no brail maps and the web site is all PDF with Jaws. I like door to door serveces better. How do you all get around in your towns? JC


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I already have a dog anyways and i find most of those expenses pretty minimal and Guide dogs for the Blind will actually help with the expenses providing that you save the receipts and try to pay for part of it.
It can be a challenge at times. The bus depot is annoying about maps where i live if you gotta question don't ask them. My O&M even said that, she told me about this person she worked with that took a taxi to the depot and asked where i think it was the Greyhound buses were, and they were right next door. The person asked and the depot person said They aren't part of that company. Anyways my actual home town. There's nothing to navigate cause its all country for the most part. I've got the graveyard, the elementary school, three churches, the fire station, the drug store and the dollar store. That is basically my town. If i haven't learned my way around by now then i wouldn't of made it this far in the application process. Usually using my mom as a sighted guide she helps me familiarize myself with the new place and then i can navigate it with my cane on my own for the most part.Which if i'm in a new place without a sighted guide i do a lot of guess work for the most part, asking a lot of questions.
Recently the dollar store recent its store so i'm having to learn my way around it all over again. The mall i think is always the trickiest tho. All that noise and each store is set up differently. ugh,but generally i figure my way out with a lot of trial and error within reason.


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Lindsay my town is the same. The only thing in our mall is a movie theatre which I am surprises hasn't closed yet and a resturant which I am not sure if it is still open. There is nothing around to check out. Most places you can walk I wouldn't want to walk because of crime around here. When I do go out my mom is my sighted guide and I have started using my cane more because of my recent vision loss.


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I don't even have a mall in walking distance, i have to go into greensboro to get there. Either way i either have to take SCAT or have my mom drive me so i can even begin to travel completely on my own. The bus stop is out at the community center in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! miles and miles away even if i did try to walk to it i'd have to spend the night there to get to ride the bus. Crime rate wise Pleasant Garden's biggest problem is rednecks that don't obey traffic laws and the occasional teenager and i usually at least know of them cause they go to my school or the church. The other day, i had to help my mom secure the kayaks three times because someone messed with our ratchets. Anyways wanna hear something funny. I walk around in the hood sometimes by myself and they don't bother me if anything they help me. My cousins are afraid to even get out of the car and walk into their dad's bank parked directly at the door.
One reason why i started using my cane more even with my mom as my sighted guide in addition to the vision loss I've been experiencing more of is last time i used her as a sighted guide without my cane its kind of a funny story. We were out at Duke for a check up and had just gone to the eye center and were waiting for my neurologist appointment. Anyways we decided to stop somewhere to eat. I got out of the car and grabbed my mom and we began walking with my left foot i ran into the cement parking spot thing then with my right foot i slammed it into the curb. i got two sprained ankles and a new favorite pizza place.


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We don't even have a bus stop. If I did try to go into town I would have to walk about 8 miles just to get Ono the city limits. My mom and I go to rocky mount to do our clothes shopping but I never get to walk anywhere in Rocky mount by myself. Relating to your pizza story I fell down the steps at my friends birthday party. All eyes were on me and everything went silent. I hate falling in front of people. Greensboro is a nice long drive from Tarboro. It seems like a really cool place. I went once with the BETA club and I had fun. I hated the trip because I wasn't really ready to go out without my mom. I did enjoy the shopping though. What do you and your friends do for fun?


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At school we pretty much just goof off and talk about random things but outside of school i don't really have any friends to go out and do things with.


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I am the same way. The one friend I do actually do stuff with outside of school is very...unique. I can only stand her in small doses. She's drug me through her troubles and didn't even realize how much it hurt me and how much it changed her. She's really the only friend I have to hang out with. Her parents love me and her sister adores me. I am really looking forward to making new friends at the mini camp.


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Making friends was one of the reasons i was planning to go to camp too, in addition to the fun that i would probably have. I really hope i get info from GDB soon so i can go


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I am so looking forward to painting pottery, paddle boating, and bowling!! I really hope you do hear back from GDB soon. I know they have a June class coming up so you should hear from them any day. You could try calling or emailing them to see what the status is on your aplication. Will this be your first guide dog?


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Yep, it will be my first guide dog and i'm really looking forward to it. I'm hoping to get to go to the June class but i don't think its going to happen but i could be wrong maybe things will work out. I have a email in and have been waiting on a reply.


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Hi I sord of feel the same way my self at times. I do not have any friends in my naberhood at all. I just have friends at school, Spechael Alimpiks, or bump in to good people but I have friends coming and going a lot in my life.


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I know the feeling JC. It is hard to find people that are willing to try to understand what you go through. I have always been around normal sighted people. The state wanted me to go to governor morehead school for the blind. My parents didn't want that for me. Most people who go there also have many other health issue than just blindness. The mini camp I am going to be attending this June will allow me my first chance to meet people like myself. Hopefully I will be able to make new friends and keep in touch with them as well.


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Good luck on your guide dogs! I only had to jo for 2 weeks fror my first dog.

Sarah and Wizard


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