[nagdu] Guides at NFB training centers

Raven Tolliver ravend729 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 30 06:35:40 UTC 2015

Ah, but Dave, our views differ.
Allow me to quote you:

"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."'

Calling training centers "attitude factories" is like calling yoga
classes meditation courses. There can be a large meditation aspect to
yoga. In fact, part of yoga's purpose is meditative. However, the
majority of people who do yoga and attend yoga classes are in it for
the physical and mood-enhancing benefits of yoga, and not for the
meditation aspect.

Here's you again,
"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!"

Here's an idea. Attend the training center's O&M lessons/training with
your guide dog. That is my suggestion. That's doing something, and
that's taking a stand, clearly asserting that a guide dog is your
primary mobility aid, and if your gonna get further mobility training,
it's gonna be with a harness and leash in hand.
Part of this continued discrimination is the fact that we allow the
training centers to make up all the rules, and quite arbitrary ones if
you ask me. I didn't get a guide dog so that somebody could tell me
when and when not to use him. I got a guide dog to use him as a
mobility aid in the circumstances that I see fit.
The decision to attend O&M at a training center should not be a
decision not to use your own guide dog.
Another choice is to choose not to partake in O&M lessons if the dog
is not allowed to be used as a mobility aid.
The training centers should understand that guide dog handlers have
made the life-altering decision to use a dog as a mobility aid, no
matter how damaging that is to the NFB philosophy. It is not about the
NFB, it is about helping someone become more independent. Anyone
daring to take on the challenges I have proposed here will come to
understand how accepting or intolerant the NFB truly is.

Thanks NFB for establishing the centers, but there's still progress to
be made in terms of ideology and best practices.
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 8/30/15, David Andrews via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Raymond, I suspect we are closer in our views
> then your message implies to me.  I was not
> simply talking about "feel good" attitude
> adjustment.  Also I am sure it is possible that a
> Center could accomplish what it does for both
> cane and dog users, but some of the approaches would have to be different.
> Dave
> At 11:12 PM 8/29/2015, you wrote:
>>Dave, If someone needs an attitude adjustment,
>>that person can visit a counselor, practice
>>meditation, participate in group therapy, etc.
>>The people I’ve known who have visited
>>training centers, including myself, attended one
>>out of a need or desire to gain and improve
>>independent living skills. In those sorts of
>>situations, it’s nice to have people to
>>empathize with, who you can sit down and chat
>>with, who understand what you’ve gone through
>>and the struggles you face as a blind person.
>>But ultimately, I’ve never known anyone who
>>went for the sake of being patted on the back
>>and told “It’s okay to be blind. You should
>>wear your disability loud and proud in the way
>>we think you should wear it, not in the way that
>>makes you feel most comfortable and accomplishes
>>the most for you.† Not to say that isn’t a
>>part of some people’s purpose for attending.
>>I’m sure it is for some. However, that is not
>>the case for all clients, and just as any
>>training is tailored according to a person’s
>>needs, learning speed, and learning style, I
>>don’t see why the training centers could not
>>tailor their training methods and practices for
>>the individual. blind pride is all good, but
>>people should still be taught to accomplish and
>>complete daily life tasks using the tools that
>>best meet their needs if those tools are
>>reasonably obtainable. When I was at the
>>Michigan training center, all the clients there
>>were and still are exposed to a variety of
>>technologies and allowed to trial them to figure
>>out which best suits their needs. Perhaps this
>>is not representative of training centers in
>>other states. If I own a guide dog, and a dog
>>best meets my needs while traveling, why does
>>anyone insist on me partaking in O&M training
>>that does not integrate my guide dog? I have
>>already been a cane user, and decided that
>>travel is enhanced with a guide dog by my side.
>>As a guide dog user, I am not ashamed to be
>>blind, and I have already decided that a cane is
>>an inadequate mobility aid, or at least does not
>>supersede what a dog can do as a mobility aid in
>>most situations. Even if I was ashamed of
>>demonstrating my blindness, or ashamed of what
>>the white cane signifies to the sighted public,
>>how does learning cane technique help me as a
>>guide dog traveler? Guide dog travelers don’t
>>need anyone at a training center to coach them
>>on using a guide dog. We’ve all spent at least
>>10-28 days receiving proper training with our
>>dogs. Why can’t an instructor simply teach
>>structured discovery without being a cane coach?
>>We can figure out how to use our dogs while the
>>instructor provides input and advice on basic
>>orientation. It is still possible to acquire
>>route information, explore, find landmarks, and
>>gain a sense of direction and location using
>>tactile and sound clues from the environment. It
>>just might not be the same tactile clues a cane
>>user would use, and it would definitely rely on
>>different methods than that of a cane user’s.
>>We don’t need to create a training center
>>specifically for guide dog users. The assertion
>>that such action should be taken is
>>discriminatory. Really! These centers are for
>>cane users and that one is for guide dog users.
>>We don’t accommodate your kind here, so you
>>can go over there with the rest of your kind.
>>Sounds like a million other prejudiced,
>>intolerant, insensitive, discriminatory,
>>devaluing battles that have been fought
>>throughout history. Seems like there are still
>>some kinks in the NFB philosophy. People have
>>complained about prejudices and discrimination
>>ever since the creation of woman and man. So we
>>talk about it because discussion brings about
>>change. This is a straight, wealthy, white,
>>able-bodied, right-handed man’s world. The
>>fewer of those demographics you fit in to, the
>>more discrimination you face, and the more you
>>are put down by society, no matter whether you
>>use a cane or a dog. Why is there a need to
>>promote and encourage further discrimination?
>>Interesting that discrimination is the thing we
>>fight, but even within minorities, there is
>>this, I’m a better insert demographic here
>>because of x reason. I’m a better black person
>>because I wear my hair in French braids rather
>>than wearing it straight like a white girl.
>>I’m a better woman than you because I can walk
>>up to the checkout counter with nothing but a
>>box of tampons and don’t need to hide it with
>>other groceries or go to the self checkout.
>>I’m a better man than you because I have a
>>hairy chest and hairy arms. I’m a better blind
>>person than you because I walk around with a
>>cane, the originale mobility aid, instead of a
>>dog. While we’re focusing on discrimination,
>>let’s work on the instances that occur within
>>our own community. -- Raven Founder of 1AM
>>Editing & Research www.1am-editing.com You are
>>valuable because of your potential, not because
>>of what you have or what you do.
>>Naturally-reared guide dogs
>>https://groups.google.com/d/forum/nrguidedogs >>
>>On Aug 29, 2015, at 10:32 PM, David Andrews via
>>nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> >> wrote: >> >>
>>Raymond: >> >> 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! >> >>
>>Dave >> >> >> 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 >>>
>>dogs. >>> >>> 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. >>> -- >>> Raven >>> Founder of 1AM
>>Editing & Research >>>
>>www.1am-editing.com >>> >>> You are valuable
>>because of your potential, not because of what
>>you >>> have or what you do. >>> >>>
>>Naturally-reared guide dogs >>>
>>https://groups.google.com/d/forum/nrguidedogs >>>
>>  >>> 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
>          David Andrews and long white cane Harry.
> E-Mail:  dandrews at visi.com or david.andrews at nfbnet.org
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