[nagdu] Guides at NFB training centers

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Sun Aug 30 02:32:54 UTC 2015


What I am about to say probably won't go over well 
here.  Nevertheless, I hope people will think about what I say.

Our three training centers and some others, teach skills of 
blindness, like travel, Braille and Technology, but they also teach 
us how to accept our blindness, how to prosper in a sighted world and 
other attitude-related factors.  I think it was Jim Omvig who said 
they are "attitude factories."  From my time at the New Mexico 
Commission for the Blind, and working near BLIND Inc., for over 20 
years, I would say this is true.

Part of how they do this is through travel with a cane.  People are 
moved to using a cane, having it at all times, accepting it, being 
proud of it etc.  For most people this is where the rubber meets the 
road in terms of adjustment to blindness.

Our Centers are simply not just teaching skills and the cane is an 
integral part of the process.

Now, could it also be done with a dog guide.  I don't know -- I am 
not a dog user, so wouldn't presume to say. I would think it might be 
harder because you are using the dog to make some decisions that a 
cane user makes.  Also, the public has different attitudes about dogs 
and canes, so don't know what a difference this would make.

Anyway, our current centers do what they do in part through the 
cane.  Let them do what they do well.

It seems to me that the service animal crowd should come together and 
design a training center that does good things using a dog.
People have complained about our Centers and dogs for as long as we 
have had centers, and these lists.  Do something about it!


At 07:40 PM 8/29/2015, you wrote:
>This is ridiculous. Teaching me how to travel better encompasses
>teaching me to use orientation skills in conjunction with a guide dog
>since that is my mobility aid of choice. Better cane technique or cane
>usage for mobility does not help me as a guide dog traveler. As guide
>dog travelers, we are required to assess our environment through our
>feet, hands, sound shadows, and cuing our dogs to locate certain
>landmarks. I don't see how cane travel translates.
>Cane travel and guide dog travel are diametrically different, as Julie
>J described in a previous post relating to Tom trying for a guide dog.
>If the training centers don't have these differences in mind and
>cannot adapt lessons accordingly, I think this is incredibly devaluing
>and inconsiderate of handlers relationships and use of their guide
>After I got a guide dog, I received mobility training from an O&M
>instructor around the city that I lived in. How useful would that
>training have been to me if she had said, "Even though you've got your
>dog, I'm gonna show you how to navigate the city using your cane."
>What kind of sense does that make? The cane does things the dog
>doesn't, and vice versa. I have to use certain techniques with my dog
>that I never had to with a cane, and vice versa.
>I'm not saying the training you'll receive will be useless, but part
>of it will be a waste, considering there are important aspects of
>guide dog travel you could concentrate on instead.
>I understand that training centers teach much more than O&M. But I've
>stayed at the training center here in Michigan, and the O&M
>instructors there are perfectly fine with clients using their guide
>dogs. In fact, my instructor at the training center recommended that I
>apply to get a guide dog, a long while before I even considered it as
>an option.
>Founder of 1AM Editing & Research
>You are valuable because of your potential, not because of what you
>have or what you do.
>Naturally-reared guide dogs
>On 8/29/15, Michael Hingson via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I have not been to a center as a student, but I serve on one of the center
> > boards and have talked to many people who have participated in the
> > programs.
> > My understanding is that centers will assist by permitting you to leave
> > your
> > dog in an office, possibly with staff, so the dog will not be alone.
> > Remember that the reason, in part, for going to the centers is to learn
> > better travel techniques which means developing better cane skills as that
> > is what the centers teach. You WILL find this invaluable after your time at
> > the center.
> >
> >
> > Best Regards,
> >
> >
> > Michael Hingson
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ashley Coleman
> > via nagdu
> > Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2015 5:11 PM
> > To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
> > <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> > Cc: Ashley Coleman <amc05111 at gmail.com>
> > Subject: Re: [nagdu] Guides at NFB training centers
> >
> > Hi, I know that these centers do a great job in regards to teaching. Please
> > make sure that your dog get as much exercise as normal. Also, live a radio
> > or TV on so that your dog has something calming to listen to. Check with
> > your trainers to find out when they would like you to use a cane. Honestly,
> > I would rather work with my dog than a cane. I would have a difficult time
> > leaving Landon behind in my room all day. JMO.
> >
> > Ashley Coleman,
> >
> >
> >
> >> On Aug 29, 2015, at 19:07, Aleeha Dudley via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello all,
> >> I will be attending the Louisiana center for the blind in September. I
> > know what their policy on dogs is, but I would like to hear from those who
> > have attended centers with your dogs. How was it? What can I do to reduce
> > the stress on my dog from being left all day?
> >> Thanks.
> >> Aleeha
> >>
> >> Sent from my iPhone

         David Andrews and long white cane Harry.
E-Mail:  dandrews at visi.com or david.andrews at nfbnet.org

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