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Traveling an Unfamiliar Route and Taking a Risk as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

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Suppose you’ve graduated your orientation and mobility lessons and you’ve successfully mastered a handful of routes. You can get from home to work and back, to Starbucks and back (because let’s face it, this route is perhaps the most vital), to the gym and back, and to the grocery store and back. You and the cane have found your rhythm; shorelining, well, it’s practically a breeze; and bus travel now only gives you a smidge of anxiety. You’ve made great strides. But now the guys at the office invite you to a new restaurant in town. You’re determined to get there independently. Are you up for the challenge?

With the collection of orientation and mobility tools and skills under your belt—but please, if you haven’t received proper training in travel skills for those who are blind or visually impaired, start there and this time hire an uber—it’s time to create a plan (and just as important, a backup plan) and take a measured risk.

Don’t let fear rob you of an independent life.

I know this can be overwhelming. It’s why I want to share former CareerConnect program manager, Joe Strechay’s words as he reflected on tackling an unfamiliar route despite the uncertainties.

Read "Push Your Limits and Take Measured Risks." Know that all travelers who are blind or significantly visually impaired have to make a decision as to whether they will push themselves past their comfort levels…time and again.

Additional Resources

Why Should Blind or Visually Impaired Individuals Practice Orientation and Mobility Skills?

Community Travel Skills—a Predictor of Workplace Success for Individuals Who Are Blind

Find a Local Orientation and Mobility Service Provider


Topics:
Employment
Getting Around
Low Vision
Planning for the Future
There are currently 6 comments

Re: Traveling an Unfamiliar Route and Taking a Risk as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired



Hi Shannon,

That scenario at the beginning of your article is great! It really gets readers interested in the article and makes them want to continue reading it. At least, it made me want to continue reading it further.

Until next time,
Piper


Re: Traveling an Unfamiliar Route and Taking a Risk as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired



Piper,

Your encouragement and feedback is much, much appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to write--made my day!

Shannon


Re: Traveling an Unfamiliar Route and Taking a Risk as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired



One problem I think with O&M today is that instructors teach you a route, instead of how to learn new routes on your own. Learning how to ask the right questions is the key "what does the sign on the building next to the building I need to visit read" for example or "does this bus stop before I cross main street to get to Walmart or do I have to walk towards the back of the bus to get to the correct intersection". Because O&M instructors tend to be contracted for just a few hours to teach a specific route, they can't teach you the skills you need to be independent everywhere when no O&M instructor is available.
As for taking risks, learn to practice unfamiliar routes in safe situations, such as a quiet residential neighborhood or on a college campus. On the campus where I work, I make it a practice to locate a new restroom each week, because there are over a hundred acres of buildings to explore. This is a safe risk because I'm not crossing any streets. Once you get in the habit of venturing in to new unknown locations you will find it less stressful.
I always ask questions about what sighted people see such as signage, the color of a building or even landmarks such as a large sculpture near a place where I have to make a turn. This way if I'm lost I can ask people if I am, say, near that big sculpture.
If I get stuck in a boring conversation on a bus with someone who wants to tell me his life story, I try to get him to look out the window instead to tell me what we are passing. If someone shows me a route and it seems really complex I ask if there's a possibly longer route with fewer turns and perhaps more landmarks.


Re: Traveling an Unfamiliar Route and Taking a Risk as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired



my name is Mark Godswin am here to share testimony of how i got back my relationship that was scattered for months. we got married for more than 7 years and have gotten three kids. things were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my wife started behaving in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way she treat me and the kids. for months she did not come home again and she called me for a divorce, i asked her what have i done wrong to deserve this from her, all she was saying is that she want a divorce that she hate me and do not want to see me again in her life, i was mad and also frustrated and do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 3 weeks i want to be reunited back with my husband in 2016 blog of her intention towards me. i love my wife so much and can do anything for her. i told my brother and he told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted DR Alexzander through his website, for the return of my wife to me, he told me that my wife have been taken by another man, that he cast a spell on her that was why she hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on her that will make her return to me and the kids, Dr alexzander cast the spell and after 1 week my wife called me and she told me that i should forgive her, she apologizes on phone and said that she did not know what happened to her. it was the spell that DR Alexzander cast on her that made her return back to me today,me and my family are now happy again. thank you Dr Alexzander for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for HIS great spell. i want all my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact {alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or through his Whatspp number +2347068836760 if you need a supernatural great wizard to cast a spell for you. email Dr alexzander and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.These are the few things he also do for people. *do you need rapid and undeserved promotions in your offices or work? Dr alexzander can bring back lost lovers on 96hrs and can cast all kind of spell. Dr alexzander is a healer that is here on earth to solve your problems just as he did to mine.this is your chance to be helped quickly by Dr alexzander.his an expert in distance healing, court cases even if one is convicted. he can do all manner of spell that you may need in life.he can also make you conceive a child and win money through gambling and other things you may desire to have in life. contact him and be the next to share his good work to the world. alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com. You can also call him on +2347068836760 or you contact him through his whatsapp number +2348075823891


Re: Traveling an Unfamiliar Route and Taking a Risk as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired



my name is Mark Godswin am here to share testimony of how i got back my relationship that was scattered for months. we got married for more than 7 years and have gotten three kids. things were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my wife started behaving in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way she treat me and the kids. for months she did not come home again and she called me for a divorce, i asked her what have i done wrong to deserve this from her, all she was saying is that she want a divorce that she hate me and do not want to see me again in her life, i was mad and also frustrated and do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 3 weeks i want to be reunited back with my husband in 2016 blog of her intention towards me. i love my wife so much and can do anything for her. i told my brother and he told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted DR Alexzander through his website, for the return of my wife to me, he told me that my wife have been taken by another man, that he cast a spell on her that was why she hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on her that will make her return to me and the kids, Dr alexzander cast the spell and after 1 week my wife called me and she told me that i should forgive her, she apologizes on phone and said that she did not know what happened to her. it was the spell that DR Alexzander cast on her that made her return back to me today,me and my family are now happy again. thank you Dr Alexzander for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for HIS great spell. i want all my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact {alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com or through his Whatspp number +2347068836760 if you need a supernatural great wizard to cast a spell for you. email Dr alexzander and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.These are the few things he also do for people. *do you need rapid and undeserved promotions in your offices or work? Dr alexzander can bring back lost lovers on 96hrs and can cast all kind of spell. Dr alexzander is a healer that is here on earth to solve your problems just as he did to mine.this is your chance to be helped quickly by Dr alexzander.his an expert in distance healing, court cases even if one is convicted. he can do all manner of spell that you may need in life.he can also make you conceive a child and win money through gambling and other things you may desire to have in life. contact him and be the next to share his good work to the world. alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com. You can also call him on +2347068836760 or you contact him through his whatsapp number +2348075823891


Re: Traveling an Unfamiliar Route and Taking a Risk as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired



Joe’s article is very well written. I struggle with this quite a lot. I have a guide dog but in my opinion poor travel skills. Getting lost is something I’ve been afraid of for many many years. Although my guide dog is wonderful at learning places by name, I realize this is not something I should rely on all the time. I dread the day he retires. I work at a nonprofit for the blind, but we only have one mobility teacher to serve 11 counties. As a result, I’m reluctant to apply for services just for training on improving my skills. I have no specific routes in mind to learn. Rather, I’d like to improve my orientation and problem solving skills while traveling.


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