[NABS-L] Spatial Orientation Experiences

Mariya Vasileva mkvnfb94 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 00:08:53 UTC 2019

You can use the tactile maps from the American printing House to start building a spatial map. You could also use 3-D models or other tactile devices to put things together and figure out how they come together spacially. I will have to agree with many people that may put this point across, not all blind people think in words even if they were born blind from birth. If you think about it, it makes it a lot more complex to think that way because you are right, things change constantly. I wasn’t born blind, but that didn’t mean that when I went BLIND, I wasn’t able to visualize stuff and raise my spacial awareness. If you think about it, all the things that you interact with like shapes and other things as they are what they are, whether you feel them or see them. So however you interact with them, your mind stores those images away for later. So picturing it in your head, is no more different than holding it in your hands.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jul 29, 2019, at 18:19, Amy Albin via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
> I know that spatial orientation has been discussed on here before, but
> I was just curious if anyone’s experiences are similar to mine. I’ve
> been totally blind since birth.
> So the way I am, I can't make a mental map. I think in words rather
> than pictures. So for instance, if you told me to imagine I'm facing
> my desk, then asked where is my bedroom door. I don't actually imagine
> the desk and how I turn to get to the door, even though I've lived
> here long enough I do it automatically. Instead I think, hmm. I know
> the desk is on the west wall, and the door is on the north wall. North
> is to the right of west, so therefore the door is to my right.
> It's like instead of just picturing my bedroom, I have to solve a
> logic puzzle in my head, and I do it completely verbally. So if that
> is for my tiny bedroom, you can imagine how it is for a big hotel or a
> college campus. And then, well, the campus zig zags. So you can't just
> walk north, or make sensible 90 degree turns at actual defined
> corners. It's north, west, back north, now a little northwest... So
> then I just follow landmarks. But when I do left and right, I don't
> get the full idea because left and right change relative to the
> person, so I'd much rather use cardinal directions.
> I compensate by learning routes and taking notes I can study like a
> cookbook recipe. Like:
> 1. Leave the student center at the back exit.
> 2. With the door behind me, walk forward and to the left, diagnol about 10 feet.
> 3. Follow the benches on the left. It's one bench, a garbage can, then
> another bench... And so on.
> But when I'm writing that description of a college campus, I'm not
> really picturing myself walking out the door and doing that, or if I
> am, the image is extremely dim. It's all the words that I wrote that
> are the way I think about it.
> I am working with a wonderful teacher to help me learn spatial
> concepts. However, if anyone has similar experiences and/or
> suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!
> Thanks in advance!
> Best,
> Amy Albin
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