[nabs-l] some more questions...

Anjelina anjelinac26 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 15 12:03:15 UTC 2010

I don't think wanting to use your cane or choosing to challenge yourself in 
a restaurant is at all extreme. It'll give your the practice you're looking 
for, and you'll become accustomed to depending on yourself and the cane.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kerri Kosten" <kerrik2006 at gmail.com>
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2010 3:20 AM
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] some more questions...

> Hi All!
> Wow, awesome responses!
> Thanks a ton...this helps clear up the issue so much for me!
> Just one more question though. In her message, Arielle said she often
> bases whether she follows someone or takes their arm by whether she
> will likely be going to the same place or traveling the same route
> again.
> What about if you are just going to a restaurant?
> Often, I go out to eat with my family. They park, we get out of the
> car, then it's just a matter of walking to where the door is, and then
> going to the seat in the restaurant. Usually, I just let Mom guide
> me...but in a situation like this, should I be using my cane? It's not
> necessarily a place I'll be going to again or a lot, but it's another
> situation where I could be using my cane and getting more practice.
> However, again I don't want to cause trouble or be extreme. So, what
> do you usually do in situations where you just have to go from a
> vehicle, to the door, then to a seat?
> Kerri
> On 8/14/10, Jewel S. <herekittykat2 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I had a similar problem with getting lost and having someone guide me
>> to find my way...the next time, I got just as lost! This is what I
>> started doing.
>> Me: Man, I'm lost...I don't recognize anything around me.
>> Good Person: Can I help you find something?
>> Me: Yea, I'm looking for <address>. Can you tell me what address I'm at?
>> GP: You're at <number>. You need to go down the street to your left
>> and you'll find the place you're looking for.
>> Me: Thank you. Are there any plants, stairs, or other features that
>> will tell me that I'm there?
>> GP: Yea, they have two big crepe myrtles out front and the building
>> has six steps to the front door.
>> Me: Thank you!
>> Then I walk there, and when I find two crepe myrtles and a building
>> with six steps, I am 99 percent likely to have the right building.
>> Another method I've used is "Are you going that way? I would be
>> grateful if you'd let me walk with you." Then I walk beside them and
>> talk while I walk (I talk too much), and watch out for landmarks. I
>> have to pay attention to where I'm going because I'm following, but at
>> the same time, I don't have to try to remember directions (I have a
>> bad memory).
>> For following, I have a bit of a cheat in my favour. I can ee some
>> colours, so if the person is wearing a bright coloured shirt, such a
>> construction worker's orange vest or a pretty pink shirt, I just keep
>> the pink or orange blob in my sight and follow that. If you don't have
>> colour vision, use scent and/or sound. For example, at the bank today
>> there was a lady with high heels that made it very easy to follow her,
>> and I have a friend who wears very distinct cologne...as long as I can
>> smell his cologne, I know he's not far away. If I'm not sure where
>> someone is, I'll ask. For example, while my boyfriend and I are out, I
>> might say "Hey, Mike." and he'll say "Yea?" or "Here." and I'll know
>> exactly where he is based on his voice. This works better with people
>> you know well, because they'll know that you're just asking for some
>> audio feedback.
>> Hope that helps,
>> Jewel
>> On 8/14/10, Arielle Silverman <nabs.president at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi Kerri,
>>> It'll be obvious when your tip needs changing because you'll hear a
>>> noise like a piece of metal dropping on the ground while you are
>>> walking, and then your cane will stick on everything and won't give
>>> you nearly as much feedback. If you have a lot of extra tips, you can
>>> change them as soon as you start to notice scratches on your tip, but
>>> if you want to be more economical, you can wait until the ring falls
>>> off.
>>> Regarding getting help when lost, if I'm getting help from a stranger,
>>> I'll almost always follow behind them instead of taking their arm, not
>>> only so I can know where we're going, but also because I don't know
>>> the person and don't want to be led somewhere I don't want to go
>>> without realizing it. If I'm walking with someone I know and trust,
>>> then a key factor in the decision is "is this a route I'll likely be
>>> taking again?" If so, then I'll want to follow behind them using my
>>> cane so I can really be aware of where we're going and be able to
>>> remember the route for later trips. Most people will understand and
>>> not be offended if you say "I'd like to just follow you so I can
>>> remember how to get here next time". If it's not someplace I'm likely
>>> to go back to again, then the decision really depends on my mood, how
>>> crowded the place is, whether I want to be carrying something in my
>>> non-cane hand (which makes sighted guide inconvenient), etc. If it's a
>>> good friend they should be understanding that you might move a little
>>> slower or more awkwardly without holding their arm but that the
>>> practice and confidence is good for you.
>>> Arielle
>>> On 8/14/10, Anmol Bhatia <anmolpbhatia at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>> Kerri,
>>>> When you do let someone guide, try to mentally remember the directions 
>>>> as
>>>> you are walking. Basically don't just let them guide but try to follow
>>>> along
>>>> the directions as you are walking. You have the right idea of traveling
>>>> independently "practice practice practice". After all practice makes
>>>> perfect.
>>>> Anmol
>>>> I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. 
>>>> Perhaps
>>>> there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a
>>>> breeze
>>>> among flowers.
>>>> Hellen Keller
>>>> --- On Sat, 8/14/10, Kerri Kosten <kerrik2006 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> From: Kerri Kosten <kerrik2006 at gmail.com>
>>>>> Subject: [nabs-l] some more questions...
>>>>> To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
>>>>> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>>>>> Date: Saturday, August 14, 2010, 6:28 PM
>>>>> Hi All!!
>>>>> I have some more questions!
>>>>> First, I have decided to get a braille watch. My friend has
>>>>> a Seko
>>>>> watch which she says is very good, but I can't find it in
>>>>> the NFB
>>>>> Independence market. She told me that they have stopped
>>>>> making this
>>>>> kind of watch. When I looked at the watches online in the
>>>>> independence
>>>>> market there were like three different ones ranging in
>>>>> price from $45
>>>>> to like $60-something. I am pretty sure they were all in
>>>>> the Quartz
>>>>> brand...so I was wondering what the differences between
>>>>> different
>>>>> braille watches are and which one you recomend I get that
>>>>> is still
>>>>> being made today lol! I looked at my friends watch at
>>>>> convention and
>>>>> she told me how to read time on it so I should do fine in
>>>>> that area.
>>>>> How do you know when your cane tip needs changed? I've been
>>>>> told when
>>>>> the ring falls off. What does this mean? What ring? I got a
>>>>> free white
>>>>> cane from the NFB in January so it came with a tip already
>>>>> on it. I
>>>>> bought five tips during convention and have been told how
>>>>> to put them
>>>>> on. The reason I am asking about this is I am noticing my
>>>>> tip is
>>>>> scratched. It is still on but it's scratched. It's starting
>>>>> to
>>>>> stick...it doesn't feel as smooth when I tap...it feels
>>>>> more rough
>>>>> somehow...if that makes sense! Does this mean it's wearing
>>>>> down? If
>>>>> so, how much should you let it wear down before changing
>>>>> it?
>>>>> Also I want to make sure I know how to change
>>>>> properly...you basically
>>>>> twist the tip off where the rubber is...and then to put the
>>>>> new tip on
>>>>> you just stick the hole of the new tip onto the cane...is
>>>>> that right?
>>>>> Is it pretty easy/straightforward or is there anything else
>>>>> I should
>>>>> know? Is it hard to get the new tip on or does it fit onto
>>>>> the cane
>>>>> easily? Is the old tip hard to twist off? When putting the
>>>>> new tip on,
>>>>> do you have to twist it or anything like that? I just want
>>>>> to make
>>>>> sure so I'm not left with a cane I can't put a new tip on
>>>>> lol!
>>>>> A few weeks ago, I posted about navigating outside, getting
>>>>> lost, and
>>>>> going through parking lots. Last week, I decided to try
>>>>> going to the
>>>>> dumpster. It went okay, but not the best. When I got to the
>>>>> open
>>>>> driveway you have to cross, I tried to center my cane and
>>>>> go straight.
>>>>> I must've really veered horribly because I ended up hitting
>>>>> either a
>>>>> gate or fence that I had never seen before. Someone helped
>>>>> me to the
>>>>> trash (I was going the right way but was on the wrong
>>>>> side), and I
>>>>> just had them guide me back to my building but I want to
>>>>> try it again
>>>>> and to improve so had some questions. First, is there
>>>>> anything more I
>>>>> could do to correct my veering? I tried to center my cane
>>>>> and walked
>>>>> faster though I know I could've walked faster than I was.
>>>>> I've read
>>>>> that an arc that is even from side to side keeps a person
>>>>> from veering
>>>>> to one side or the other. I read how you can measure your
>>>>> arc by
>>>>> standing at a doorjamb and tapping the cane from side to
>>>>> side making
>>>>> sure the cane hits each side of the doorjamb. I also read
>>>>> that it
>>>>> needs to be about shoulder to shoulder. So, I stood at my
>>>>> doorjamb and
>>>>> tried tapping my cane from one side to the other. Then, I
>>>>> put my cane
>>>>> in front of my right shoulder, tapped it, then tried
>>>>> tapping in front
>>>>> of my other shoulder. I noticed that in both instances my
>>>>> arc became
>>>>> much much wider. I also noticed I had to kind of
>>>>> strain...like it felt
>>>>> as if it was too wide. Basically, it didn't feel natural
>>>>> somehow...Is
>>>>> this feeling normal when first starting out? The reason I
>>>>> am asking
>>>>> these questions is because the more practice I get with my
>>>>> cane, the
>>>>> better, faster, and more efficient I will become. Is there
>>>>> anything
>>>>> else I can try to maybe keep from veering so much?
>>>>> Since I am not yet in training, and haven't had much
>>>>> practice with a
>>>>> cane and am very slow and clearly need all the practice I
>>>>> can get,
>>>>> when going out when should I take an arm and when should I
>>>>> use the
>>>>> cane? I know this question always brings up much debate and
>>>>> I've been
>>>>> told it's up to me, but when you haven't had training
>>>>> what's up to me
>>>>> isn't always the best because I need practice, practice,
>>>>> practice. I
>>>>> know that if I am in a very very noisy place or I want to
>>>>> talk to
>>>>> someone/carry on a conversation taking an arm is probably
>>>>> better but
>>>>> other than those situations should I be using the cane on
>>>>> my own? Ever
>>>>> since convention, when taking someones arm, I always use my
>>>>> cane on
>>>>> the other side which is nice but that isn't helping me
>>>>> gain
>>>>> confidence, gain trust, and walk faster with the cane. Is
>>>>> it hard from
>>>>> the sighted persons perspective to follow or walk beside
>>>>> them? The
>>>>> main reason I end up taking an arm so much is I don't want
>>>>> to put the
>>>>> sighted person in an uncomfortable situation or irritate
>>>>> them...
>>>>> Also,when I am trying to go somewhere, such as the
>>>>> dumpster,and I end
>>>>> up getting lost, when a sighted person asks if I need help,
>>>>> should I
>>>>> either follow/walk beside them, or get directions and use
>>>>> my cane or
>>>>> let them guide me? The reason I am asking this is because
>>>>> too many
>>>>> times I have gotten lost when trying to go somewhere. When
>>>>> someone
>>>>> assists me, I end up letting them guide me, and then the
>>>>> next time I
>>>>> have no idea where to go because I was just guided. At
>>>>> convention, by
>>>>> the end of the week, I still had no idea of even which
>>>>> direction to go
>>>>> because I was pretty much just guided all the time and I
>>>>> have a very
>>>>> hard time of knowing where to go if I don't use my cane on
>>>>> my own.
>>>>> I am very sorry to bring this up, or if I offend anyone. I
>>>>> think once
>>>>> you've had training, you just know you can do whatever, so
>>>>> this kind
>>>>> of thing doesn't matter but for someone just starting
>>>>> out...I need
>>>>> practice, practice, practice. And what is always easiest or
>>>>> just
>>>>> leaving it up to me isn't always the best for me because I
>>>>> don't want
>>>>> to put the sighted person in an uncomfortable situation.
>>>>> But, if I am
>>>>> guided all the time I don't get that practice I need!
>>>>> The few times I have used my cane on my own and either
>>>>> gotten
>>>>> directions, or followed someone, I have done very very
>>>>> well. It gives
>>>>> me a little sense of pride, motivates me to use my cane
>>>>> more, and
>>>>> makes it so I actually like using my cane! For example, my
>>>>> apartment
>>>>> complex has a pool. You have to walk a little to get to the
>>>>> pool. My
>>>>> parents live nearby, and like to come to the pool
>>>>> sometimes. They
>>>>> called me, and I walked to the pool using my cane all on my
>>>>> own. My
>>>>> parents were sitting all the way across the pool from the
>>>>> gate at a
>>>>> picnic table. Instead of getting up to guide me, my mothers
>>>>> fiancae
>>>>> just gave me directions. He told me to keep these poles on
>>>>> my left
>>>>> side, and soon enough I came to the picnic table where they
>>>>> were
>>>>> sitting. Because of how I used my cane, I successfully told
>>>>> him just
>>>>> like that how to reverse and get back to the gate all the
>>>>> way across
>>>>> the pool! I wouldn't have been able to do that if I had
>>>>> been guided.
>>>>> I know this is a very long, detailed message and I know
>>>>> I've rambled a
>>>>> bit...but I wanted to give an example of what I am trying
>>>>> to ask and
>>>>> why I am asking these questions!
>>>>> Thanks so much!
>>>>> Kerri
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
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>>> --
>>> Arielle Silverman
>>> President, National Association of Blind Students
>>> Phone:  602-502-2255
>>> Email:
>>> nabs.president at gmail.com
>>> Website:
>>> www.nabslink.org
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> nabs-l mailing list
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>> --
>> ~Jewel
>> Check out my blog about accessibility for the blind!
>> Treasure Chest for the Blind: http://blindtreasurechest.blogspot.com
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