[NABS-L] Developing Spatial understanding and becoming a confident navigator

Emily Schlenker eschlenker at cox.net
Thu Mar 7 18:19:55 UTC 2019

Hi. What you are facing is pretty common, even for those of us who have been navigating on our own for many years. I don’t necessarily do well with distances, I do better with physical landmarks like feeling branching sidewalks and other things with my cane. I travel very well when I make physical contact with a lot of different structures and surfaces. I want to offer you a lot of encouragement, and I want to tell you that it really comes down to practice and maybe getting a few sessions with someone who knows how to teach orientation and mobility skills. You are definitely not alone, and I sometimes still get lost on my university campus.
Best of luck.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 7, 2019, at 12:09 PM, Rahul Bajaj via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
>>> I really struggle to digest and retain spatial information, such as figuring out how to get from x to y in one's head. For someone who is blind, I don't think you have the luxury of being able to look around and visually understand where you are. So the only option is to mentally internalize where things are in relation to each other. I really find it hard to make sense of info like: there will be a square after you go straight for 500m. Then you need to take a left and then road x will be to your left after 300m. While I can understand it, I struggle to internalize it.
>>> I am also a very diffident navigator. For instance, I had to guide a friend  today out of my college and really could not instantaneously recall what the way was from my door to the gate. I am able to do that just fine normally, but if I have to show someone around and so on, I really struggle. I guess it is in part because I have been guided by sighted folks all my life, so I have never developed this ability. I know some sighted folks struggle with this stuff, too, but they have they luxury of having vision which helps you get away with some of this.
>>> Best,
>>> Rahul  
>>> Sent from my iPhone
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