[nabs-l] Mobility Methods

solsticesinger solsticesinger at gmail.com
Tue Dec 2 01:05:16 UTC 2008


I agree with this wholeheartedly. Working with a guide isn't right for 
everyone, but it has most definitely been right for me.

I got my first guide, also from GDF, in the summer of 1997, right before I 
entered my senior year of high school. There were definitely challenges, 
just as there are now, eleven years later, as I'm finishing up grad school. 
However, the benefits far outweigh the challenges, IMO, and, like Kolby, I 
can't imagine ever going back to a cane.

Still, I respect everyone's personal choices, and don't feel it's correct to 
push my views on anyone.

Shannon
Who can heal, but one who has healed herself?
Who can know, but one who has asked and sought?
Who can lead, but one who has traveled the way?
--ancient French proverb

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kolby Garrison" <kolbygarrison at triad.rr.com>
To: "'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 3:32 PM
Subject: [nabs-l] Mobility Methods


Hello Everyone,
I knew that I wanted to partner with a Guide Dog as soon as I was old enough
to understand what a Guide Dog could do. After graduating High School I went
to Guide Dogs For The Blind in San Rafael, California to receive my 1st
Guide Dog, but things did not work out for me there. The 2 dogs that I was
matched with were not the right dogs for me, and I came home without a dog.
I was devastated and my confidence became nonexistent. I learned my College
campus using the cane with the help of a wonderful Orientation And Mobility
Instructor who helped me realize my independence potential, and who worked
with me for hours on end making sure that I was ready by the 1st day of
classes. I applied to The Guide Dog Foundation For The Blind, because I knew
more than ever that a Guide Dog was the right thing for me. My confidence
increased, and by the time my home interview with GDF rolled around I was
confident and independent with the cane. I was accepted to GDF and matched
with Sunny in June of this year. She is a 5 year old female Golden
Retriever, and she has changed my life. The lack of tactile feedback took
some getting use to, but I will not ever go back to using the cane as I have
said before. People talked to me when I was using my cane just as much as
they do now that I am partnered with Sunny, and yes even Guide Dog users
have to ask for help. Learning new routes is just as difficult with a Guide
Dog as it is with the cane, and I will be very interested to see how Sunny
responds to the new routes, buildings, and classes that we will be working
on very soon for the upcoming semester.
If anyone has any questions concerning why partnering with a Guide Dog is
the right thing for me personally, please do ask. I am of the opinion that
individuals should use the methods that work best for them in all
circumstances, and working with a Guide Dog is what works best for me. I am
enjoying all of the discussions on this list about various aspects of being
a blind student.
Thank You,
Kolby

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