[nagdu] Fwd: A question

Julie J. julielj at neb.rr.com
Fri Aug 28 18:25:52 UTC 2015

So it sounds like they are saying that guide dogs are only for the truly 
pathetic and you'll never move as fast with a dog as you would with vision. 
That irritates me to no end.

Tom, my above rant set aside, have you received any mobility training with a 
cane?  What does your mobility instructor think about the way you travel? Do 
you use your cane all the time when you go  outside of your own home?  Do 
you find that you avoid certain places or times of the day because your 
vision prevents you from feeling confident about navigating?

My husband also has a brain injury.  While it didn't affect his vision, it 
is still absolutely terrifying when he even bumps his head a little.   His 
doctor's said the same thing about using extreme caution to avoid further 
injury.  they also suggested he wear a helmet when participating in 
activities which could be potentially hazardous.

The thing about having some vision and using a guide dog is that it is very 
easy to over ride what the dog is indicating.  After a while the dog will 
get the idea that you've got it, so he doesn't need to be diligent in his 
duties.  then you'll whack into something because you didn't see it and the 
dog thought you could because you've indicated to him in the past that you 
could.  Certainly a dog could be taught to only do specific guide tasks for 
you, like the over head clearance.  the problem is two fold though.  First, 
I don't know of anyplace that does this sort of customized training.  You'd 
have to hire someone and pay out of pocket for it.  Second, how often would 
you encounter overhangs for the dog to get in enough practice?  To keep the 
skills sharp, the dog has to have fairly routine practice with them.

Courage to Dare: A Blind Woman's Quest to Train her Own Guide Dog is now 
available! Get the book here:
-----Original Message----- 
From: Tom Hunter via nagdu
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 1:06 PM
To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Cc: Tom Hunter ; Buddy Brannan
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Fwd: A question

Buddy, 2 schools, first GDB on the west coast, then a school in NY which
sent me an email:

August 14, 2015

Dear Tom,

Our Admissions Committee has carefully reviewed your file.  Your
application for a guide dog has been denied on the basis of your being
too visual a traveler to benefit from a guide dog and be successful with
I am sorry we cannot be of service to you, Tom. It has been my pleasure
corresponding with you throughout this process.

--> To be honest, if you are determined, you may find a guide dog school
that will accept you. But when the judgment of both Guide Dogs for the
Blind and our school is that it is not a good idea, you may not want to
consider a school with softer criteria.  A guide dog is a real benefit
when your vision loss is such that you cannot get around safely without
a cane. But this is not the case for you. When a person has enough
useable vision to get around visually, the particulars of handling and
using a guide dog can actually be a burden and can slow you down rather
than enhance your mobility.
Our best wishes go with you.
Sincerely [etc]
  Tom Hunter
  tomhunter at operamail.com

On Fri, Aug 28, 2015, at 01:56 PM, Buddy Brannan via nagdu wrote:
> Hi,
> Twice rejected: from the same school or from several? Even if you were
> rejected by two guide dog schools, that leaves about a dozen left at
> which to apply. Did they give you any reason for why you weren't
> accepted? If so, what was it, and what steps were recommended that you
> take to improve your chances at getting accepted next time?
> --
> Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV - Erie, PA
> Phone: 814-860-3194
> Mobile: 814-431-0962
> Email: buddy at brannan.name
> > On Aug 28, 2015, at 1:30 PM, Tom Hunter via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> 
> > wrote:
> >
> > Hi, all. I'm new to this list, and have been 'legally blind' since 2012,
> > when I fell from my bicycle, starting my commute home from work.  Severe
> > head injury left my optic nerves dead from one eye, and damaged from the
> > other. Optic nerves are gone and do not recover.
> >
> > I was told I could be teamed with a guide dog, but have been rejected
> > twice. Hence my question.
> >
> > Is there a service dog I could be paired with, despite being judged a
> > bad match for a seeing eye dog?
> >
> > Original ms was;
> >
> > I am a disabled 60-year-old, who can't drive or do my old job. I have a
> > MetroAccess card, and can take local trains and bus service, or get a
> > ride if I give 24 hours notice.
> >
> > In 2012 I fell, while commuting home from work on a bicycle. I wasn't
> > wearing a helmet, and hit my head on the sidewalk. After weeks of coma,
> > I recovered, but for the optic nerves, which are permantly gone to the
> > left eye, and severely damaged to the right eye, less than 20 degrees
> > field of vision in the eye that sees.
> >
> > I am in a study at the NIH, and a therapist there thought I'd qualify
> > for a guide dog.  This is not the case, it seems. 2 schools have
> > evaluated me, and now both judge my case to be not needing a guide dog.
> >
> > My question is, Is there any chance of getting a service animal, to help
> > me with partial blindness, which could help me with things I don't see?
> >
> > I don't see things overhead while walking, at times, and have hit my
> > head as a result. My doctors warned me not to hit my head at all!
> >
> > And, a cane helps but a dog might warn me better of uneven terrain while
> > walking in a local park, since my depth perception is mainly gone.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > --Tom
> >

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