[nabs-l] Could someone lend me a hand, please? (Question about juggling multiple items)

Jewel S. herekittykat2 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 4 21:53:35 UTC 2010

For groceries, I get my boyfriend to carry the bags in. He has no
problem with it. He says temporarily, he could pull my bag for me. In
my backpack will be:

1. Laptop
2. Seperate keyboard because a laptop keyboard cramps my hands badly
3. refreshable Braille display, a must since I do not do well
listening to a computer or book and a person
4. A small plastic folder for each class that has a velcro and can be
placed in the class's binder at home
5. index cards, Janus slate and stylus
6. voice recorder and/or VictorStream Reader. If I need to use the
Victor Stream for my book, I can't record class at the same time, so
need a voice recorder, which I just got (Olympus WS-400S, very small
and wonderful)
7. Braille notes, such as the class outlines, notes I've taken and
need to have at hand in class (verb conjugations, notes for a speech
in Communications class, etc)

No, I won't be carrying the books around every day. I will be rarely
carrying the print books when I meet with a reader or need some
clarification on something, but that will be seldom. However, the
laptop and accessories are already too heavy for me to carry on my
back or shoulder. Even just the laptop alone would be too much for me
to carry in this way, because a 15 inch laptop weighs 5 to 7 pounds. I
cannot carry that on my back or shoulder. I do not carry anything more
than a few pounds on my shoulder or back. When I go shopping, I bring
my rolling backpack to put things in, and Mike carries the rest
(boyfriend). If I am alone, the taxi driver will help me as they have
in the past and I tip. I never have the need to carry more than a few
pounds...the only exception is my cat, who is 7 pounds. She
distributes her weight between my hip and my shoulder (yes, she sits
on my hip like a baby with her front legs on my shoulder...everyone
thinks it is so adorable, but it is necessary). I have picked Mike's
dog up only once, and will not again...he's over twenty pounds, and my
back was out for the rest of the day.

I really do not want to have to use a motorized wheelchair/scooter. I
have been contemplating the need for one, and I know when I go to the
convention and to Disney next year, I will be renting a wheelchair,
but I really don't want to have to use one at school. A friend was
suggesting a walker that has a place to set a bag, but how would one
use a walker with a white cane (she's sighted)?

Unfortuantely, Wake Tech does not have lockers, so there goes that
idea...it was a good one, though, to have a locker in each building
(this semester, all but one of my classes are in one building), though
the things I need to carry around, I'll need for every class.

I will definitely try talking to Blind Industries and Services of MD,
as well as the Louisiana Center for the Blind and Blind, Inc. I am
hoping to come up with a better solution than using a wheelchair...I
have been fighting becoming a wheelchair user, even part-time, for
quite some time.

My boyfriend says a horse would be a great thing, if it didn't poop
and snort so much. He thinks a bull mastiff would be a better idea, or
a very large labrador retriever or some other strong dog. How about a
malamute or a Saint Brenard with a back harness and a wagon? I wish!
My boyfriend seems to think it would be a good option, but I think
it's just a wishful thought. He says if I got a malamute or husky,
maybe there'd be a way to hook the dog to my guide dog, the "lead dog"
and the pulling dog would pull the load while my guide dog lead the
way. I think it's a silly idea and wishful thinking, but what do you
guys think?

On 8/4/10, Anita Adkins <aadkins7 at verizon.net> wrote:
> Hey,  Sounds like you need a horse.  lol.  I'm really at a loss.  What if
> you could somehow obtain a motorized scooter or wheelchair.  You could ride
> in it, use your cane to guide you, and have something on it that you could
> store your support cane and your backpack in.  Or, it may fit a bag or
> something that you could use to hold the items in your backpack.  I know you
> may not want to use such a system since you can walk, but I am just
> brainstorming.  At Blind Industries and Services of MD, I believe people
> with no vision have been taught to use a cane as they manuever a wheelchair,
> and you could certainly contact them at 1-888-3322-4567 and see if they have
> any suggestions.  Or, try calling an NFB training center to see if they have
> any recommendations  for you.  Some schools have lockers, and so maybe an
> idea would be to acquire lockers in each of your buildings where you could
> padlock your stuff and keep it there.  Or, could you take online classes?
> This way, you could be at class without needing to bring stuff to it.  Or,
> the Victor reader is very light.  Maybe, you could jus ttake it, record the
> class, and then listen to it and take notes when you arrive home.  The
> Victor can also play RFB&D files, and so you would have any books that are
> available through them with you.  Just suggestions.  Sorry I don't have a
> brilliant sollution for you.  Anita
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jewel S." <herekittykat2 at gmail.com>
> To: <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 4:47 PM
> Subject: [nabs-l] Could someone lend me a hand,please? (Question about
> juggling multiple items)
>> Hi everyone,
>> As the title suggests, I need a bit of help...some advice, really. But
>> I sure wish someone could literally lend me a hand. I need that third
>> hand something fierce!
>> Here's my dilemma. I will be starting school at the local community
>> college in two weeks. I have a very nice High Sierra rolling backpack.
>> It has a retractable handle with a T-grip which makes it easy to pull.
>> However, I also have a long white cane and a T-grip support cane. One
>> hand for the white cane, one hand for the support cane (I have tried
>> carrying things in my right hand while using the support cane and I
>> simply can't put enough weight on the cane to use it properly if I'm
>> holding something...if it can hang on my wrist, and is not too heavy,
>> I can do that, but it must be very light, such as a bag of light
>> groceries {a bag of papertwoels, a bag with shampoo and conditiner,
>> some small grocery items, etc.}, and one hand for the rolling
>> backpack. That just doesn't add up to two!
>> My primary doctor and my chiropractor have warned me several times not
>> to put anything more than a few pounds on my shoulders or back, and
>> definitely not a backpack full of books, so carrying the bag on my
>> back when I use my support cane is out of the question. I have several
>> slipped discs in my neck and severe misalignment in my back and hips,
>> so I have to be careful not to carry too much. I also have problems
>> with my arms and wrists; if I carry something heavy on my wrist or
>> forearm, it will start tingling and sending lightning bolts of pain up
>> and down my arm. Further, with my bad hips and knees, using a waist
>> harness of some sort to pull the backpack seems out of the question as
>> well.
>> I brought this concern up to the Disability office at the college and
>> they and I together could not think of anything to solve my problem. I
>> suggested a volunteer pulling my bag from class to class, but they
>> said they do not have the means to find someone or schedule such a
>> volunteer's time. I am going to ask my VR counselor and my O&M
>> instructor about it tomorrow, but I wanted to ask here. Surely I'm not
>> the only one who has had this dilemma? Are there any of you out there
>> who use both a white cane and a support cane with no hands for rolling
>> backpack or other items?
>> Any advice, suggestions, or ideas would be invaluable to me, as I'm
>> truly at a loss. I didn't even think of it until yesterday when I was
>> at the college and tried to do it and couldn't, and was in no
>> condition to walk without my support cane without stumbling and/or
>> falling often.
>> ~Jewel
>> Check out my blog about accessibility for the blind!
>> Treasure Chest for the Blind: http://blindtreasurechest.blogspot.com
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Check out my blog about accessibility for the blind!
Treasure Chest for the Blind: http://blindtreasurechest.blogspot.com

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