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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

would a guide dog be helpful?

I have Aniridia and although I can see okay, that is well enough to get around without visual aids besides a monocular for reading distance and sunglassess for 23 years, I find getting around in bright sunlight or lowlight/night difficult or at the least painful from the brightness. I could solve the brightness by really dark sunglasses or closing my eyes, but well, then i can't see where i'm going. That brings me to my question. I have begun thinking that if I had a guide dog, I could do what i needed to block out the light during the day, feel safe crossing streets that do not have streetlights, not trip over curbs at night, etc. Yet, I am wondering if my sight may be too good for guide dog? does anyone have any advice/stories/etc about only having low vision (probably around 20/200 I think is ballpark for my eyes) and use of a guide dog?

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Re:would a guide dog be helpful?



MY SON HAS LOST ABOUT 85% OF HIS VISION DUE TO OVER TOXICITY FROM CHEMO DRUGS . HE IS 9 AND THE SPECIALIST SAY HE MAY GO TOTALY BLIND IN THE FUTURE. HIS EYES STAY DYLATED ALL THE TIME AND HE CANT SEE COLOR ANY MORE. WERE DO I BEGIN TO FIND HIM A DOG AND WILL HE BENIFIT FROM A DOG?


Re:would a guide dog be helpful?



Calling a guide dog school and asking them for advice is your best bet. But, as a general rule, to get a guide dog, you need to be unable to see enough to travel independently without aids, and have good enough orientation techniques that you can travel well with a cane.


Re:would a guide dog be helpful?



I have net with many peaple that have guide dogs and still have some sight. they use the dog when they need it and keep the dog with the harness dowen, just on leash when they dont. I myself had i guid god and he worked very well wnenthough i have 20/400 vision. I'm soon goingto geat a new dog fof the sme resom as you, the son in to bright and dark is to dark and when there is many thing moving i cant see.Good luck trying to balence the pain and trying to see. If I were you I call GUID DOGS FOR THE BLIND and talk to them about it.
take care
Tish




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Re:would a guide dog be helpful?



If you can see still just not well I wouldnt advise a guide dog.


Re:would a guide dog be helpful?



If you are able to get around without any aids then a guide dog would not work for you. You have to be able to let the dog lead you. In other words since you can see pretty well still, you are going to have to be closing your eyes alot to let him/her work effectively for you. You up to doing this? The guide dog school will put blinders on you. (Dark shades in which you are unable to see anything)


Re:would a guide dog be helpful?



First, lets specify: you are not low vision. You are legally blind.

Second, yes, absolutely a guide dog could be a very helpful option for you. You don't have to limit yourself to one option simply because you have residual vision.

If you haven't yet received orientation and mobility, you need to do that, and then (if you decide that you want a guide dog in addition to otherwise good cane skills) you can apply to guide dog schools.

Best of luck.


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