[nabs-l] some more questions...

Serena serenacucco at verizon.net
Sat Aug 28 18:00:51 UTC 2010

Try to use your cane as much as possible.  It is true, however, that most 
sighted people don't know much, if anything, about how to verbally direct 
you.  When you get lost and a stranger helps you, try to ask them to 
verbally direct you.  If, however, you figure out that circumstances make it 
hard to teach the person what to do, E.G. the person seems to not speak very 
good English, or you're not feeling your best that day so don't feel like 
fighting the battle of educating people, it might be better for you to 
simply let he/she guide you back.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kerri Kosten" <kerrik2006 at gmail.com>
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 7:28 PM
Subject: [nabs-l] some more questions...

> 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
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