[NABS-L] Spatial Orientation Experiences

Amy Albin amyralbin at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 00:29:09 UTC 2019

Thanks, Mariya.

On 7/29/19, Mariya Vasileva via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> 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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