This past week I had my after holiday lesson with Elaine. I had to miss a week or this would have been sooner because I was sick, and I still am a little sick yet; but feeling much better.

This lesson was simple. Navigate around the block right out side my home. Oh, and did I mention, while wearing blinder glasses? This way it’s sure that you really CAN NOT SEE ANYTHING! Things get a little more interesting now don’t they?

White Cane ManWe made one pass up the block with out the glasses so she could see that I was walking in step with the cane. By now and all the practice I have been doing on my own this was no problem at all; she was impressed.

After we made it to the top, we crossed the street and then, with the blinding glasses on made our way down the other side. I was a little hesitant to say the least. This side of the street the sidewalks are very bad! Upturned bricks and poorly maintained, make it a challenge even for me and mom in daylight, let alone when you cannot see any thing at all.

Sweeping the cane from side to side, I suddenly became more aware of every bump and dip in front of me. The cane was providing the information I wanted. We cleared the bad part of the sidewalk with not too much trouble.

As we continue, she informs me in a few more steps we will be at the curb, and to tell her when I think I found it… Sure enough in just a few more steps, I felt the cane dip, and my foot slope down the ramp at the curb.

We made a right and walked up one of our side streets, this sidewalk was much better, and again she says tell me when you find the curb… No problem! As we stand at an alley way, she says tell me what you hear; well I did hear a car idling but she says it is parked, but that’s good, it’s what she wanted to know.

We continue on our walk, and I’m feeling a bit more comfortable and pick up pace a little bit, still with the blinding glasses on, we make our way around the whole block! Stopping at curbs, listening… As we pass houses and open lots she reminds me to listen for the differences in pitch of how sounds change from an enclosed space to an open space.

We finished our walk… I had navigated a whole city block around my house truly blind, using just my cane.

We also went over more cane use at curbs, and how to hold the cane across your body to make it more visible to people and cars; also stepping off the curb and continuing the proper arc to again stay in step.

I’m progressing well! Lets see what next week brings!

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