[NABS-L] Developing Spatial understanding and becoming a confident navigator<CACNPAB5v9-SdJK4MskKHqt=iz1HFdpt5M1fbYrtYZHeVFuQDUg at mail.gmail.com>

Ben Fulton bluezinfandel at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 8 15:55:57 UTC 2019

This is something I have also found challenging. Sighted people don't walk in straight lines either, they just correct for the variations more quickly, but I have to follow a shoreline of some sort.

There are areas where the GPS just doesn't work properly. Like on campus it tells me I am in an open area. But doesn't tell me about all the trails and paths that people use to get between buildings.

What I really want is a tactile map. I've been thinking about using gell pens, but was wondering if anyone here has any experiences with this kind of thing. 

This is especially tricky because roads don't follow straight lines either, so using x and y points might oversimplify diagonal lines. That's why I'm thinking something like gell pens, but I don't know how quickly they dry, or how easy they are to use,  etc.

Sighted people use maps all the time, to reference where they are, and how to get where they are going. I think having this would be very useful. Also, when I do get lost, if I had a map to show someone, they could show me where I am on the map, and this would help me out. Having these reference points I think makes all the difference.

In addition to the areas where gps just doesn't work, I also find it matters what ap you are using. Google maps doesn't provide me with enough information many times. I have Blind Square event but it doesn't work in all areas. 

I have a trekker breeze, it's an older piece of equipment, and it works great, but it's another big piece of equipment to lug around, and doesn't provide the tactile feedback I was describing. It helps me find out where I am and it keeps track of routes, but I can't show it to a sighted person and expect they would get anything from it. Whereas, if a gell pen map works it would be both visual and tactile, I'm not committed to gell pens, it's just the first idea, if anyone has any ideas on how to do this I would appreciate it. 

Keep in mind it needs to be portable.

All the best,

<CACNPAB5v9-SdJK4MskKHqt=iz1HFdpt5M1fbYrtYZHeVFuQDUg at mail.gmail.com>
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I to can certainly relate. Although I received O&M services from
around age three, I was taught by traditional sighted instructors. I
was never allowed to walk a route alone until my instructor judged
that I could walk it flawlessly without making any mistakes or wrong
turns. Add to that the fact that I grew up in a small rural town that
was not pedestrian friendly and was never really encouraged to use my
cane outside of school, and instead used sighted guide most of the
time. I was able to receive some great structured discovery   travel
training while I was a student at Blindness Learning in New Dimensions
which helped to make me a much better traveler and really helped me
focus on my problem solving skills. I still struggle with orientation
and spacial relationships, and have come to terms with the fact that
cane travel will never be as easy and intuitive for me as it is for
some people. As you mentioned in your original post an important thing
to remember is that even some sighted people struggle with these types
of concepts. I may have to gather more information from the public, or
use GPS apps, or take a wrong turn or two  than some of my more travel
savvy friends, but I don?t let it stop me from getting out  there,
exploring,  and going where I want to go.
Best, Kayla

On 3/7/19, Michael Capelle via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> i have the same issues, hince why i use things like gps, or sighted guide.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vejas Vasiliauskas via NABS-L
> Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2019 12:40 PM
> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
> Cc: Vejas Vasiliauskas
> Subject: Re: [NABS-L] Developing Spatial understanding and becoming a
> confident navigator
> Hi Rahul,
> I can understand your troubles with spacial awareness. I have had to deal
> with this too.
> When someone asks me for directions to a place I know, I find it much easier
> to walk there with them than try to verbally dictate it.
> Vejas
>> On 7 Mar 2019, at 10:09, 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

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