Wednesday, March 30, 2011
First off, the recall list for April came out and Rocco IS NOT on it. Hooray! But, Pauli and Amici are both on it. Looks like Kendrick is going to be getting some of his friends up at GDB soon. :) Since Kendrick was in evaluations until recently he's going to be in 0 until the new recall kids come in so all 3 of these boys might be graduated at the same time! Good for me at least. Anyway, as most of you know I am trying to convert this to not only my Guide Dog Puppy blog, but to a blog that is following me trying to become and O&M Instructor and learning more about blindness and people who are blind. Hence the Blog's title, A Study in Sight. Yesterday I got to talk with one of my friends who is blind. I've known her since I was real little. Of course when I was little she was just blind and I didn't think anything of it. But now that I'm considering a career path in blind rehabilitation, I talk to her from time to time about different blind things. We ended up talking about White Canes yesterday. I was considering purchasing a cheap one to take with me to Guide Dog talks at elementary schools and other things, just to teach the kids the modes of travel available to blind people. She told me that straight canes were generally used for kids, though you could find some tiny folding canes if you really wanted to. Straight canes are canes that don't fold. She told me her O&M instructor as a kid threatened to take away her folding cane and give her a straight cane if she didn't start using the cane at school. I remember walking home with her from school and she always used the cane then. I asked her why she didn't like using the cane when she was younger. She told me that blind children are often made fun of and as a kid she didn't want to use the cane so that she wouldn't be made fun of as often. If the fact that kids will tease other kids about being blind, a condition they have no control over, she told me that if the sighted kids were particularly bad they would sometimes take the cane away from the blind child. Was Erin enraged a little by this realisation? YES! I mean, I was teased often as a kid. I am blond so there was an endless stream of dumb blond jokes in my general direction. Besides that I have very large teeth and I had an overbite. This cause my two very large front teeth to stick out when I wasn't paying attention. It made me look like a bunny rabbit or a squirrel and the kids picked up on that. When I was older and my face grew a little longer I looked more like a horse...I was also teased about that (all I can say is thank god for braces). I'm tall and gangly, as a young girl I was more interested in dinosaurs than princesses, and I wear glasses. I was teased plenty, but I never had my glasses taken from me...or my retainers or anything like that. I say it's high time to visit around to elementary schools and educate the little monsters some (I say this and I really do love children). She says that now that she's an adult she doesn't mind walking with her cane, but she does prefer travel by dog. After talking about the cruelty some children can inflict she told me about the different kind of canes. There are aluminum ones which she says are good for children. Then there are fiberglass and graphite canes. She said she loved the fiberglass canes when she first got one, but by far her favourite is the graphite cane. She says they're a lot lighter and you get better "tactile information" from them. As a mostly sighted person, I am not able to explain how a cane gives you tactile information, but she did promise to show me the difference between the canes when I came home. She also that she doesn't like it when people call the cane a "stick". Hear that people? Don't call it a "stick". We also talked about guide dogs and the puppies in my group. It was just what you imagine two people who love dogs would talk about. Next time she said we would talk about different cane tips and that that could be another blog post. I think she was joking, but being the nerd I am, I'm actually interested. I'm also interested in her take on either a folding cane or a telescopic cane. I hope you enjoyed the different flow of today's post.