The Perfect Focus

Finding focus in a blurry world…

Orientation and Mobility: Stop, Listen, Look


Intersection SignIn this lesson, Elaine took me to an outer part of town, but it happened to be right near our local Middle School, so I did know the location…

The objective was simple, to walk up, down, and around the block, stopping for all open areas (that includes driveways); listening, for cars and the direction of traffic, as of yet still waiting for “All Quiet“; and finally look to make sure all is clear before you cross a driveway or street… and as always, using perfect cane technique.

I made my way to the first street, surveying the location, noting the street name, the flow of traffic, and how the intersection was controlled… listened for “All Quiet” and made my way across… It was mid day so traffic at that time was very light. We made our way down a few more blocks, doing crossings the same way, always stopping, listening for any sound, and then looking before crossing.

This lesson was uneventful, as it was more for Elaine to observe me, and how I approached the curb, and to make sure I listened, and looked before crossing. We made a few turns, and looped back around.

While doing so Elaine normally travels a good 20 to 30-feet behind me as to not disturb me, and so she can observe.

As I walked down the street some people where out and about. As I approached an alley way I stop, and listen, check the curb edge with my cane as I have been told to do. While resting a moment I hear from across the street a man say “It’s OK, your fine it’s clear…” as I did then step off and cross the alley, I then hear “Watch your step…” of course I did politely ignore him.

White Cane ManI made my way down the street, and I over hear him and a lady say “Leave the man alone, he knows what he’s doing“… and a fleeting comment of “Them blind people sure amaze me, I don’t know how they do it…” – Well I have to say at least some one noticed my white cane! In all my years, I have never had some one attempt to assist me in crossing a street. It was a little embarrassing, but made me feel good, some one attempted to help.

As a note to my fellow sighted reader, I would like to remind you that most blind or low vision people who travel need little help, and if we do, we will ask. We know what we’re doing that’s why we have people like Elaine to train us!

You should not shout or startle a blind or low vision person; chances are they are concentrating on the task at hand… You should not yell “It’s OK to cross“, I will cross when I am ready… If I am going to cross a street, chances are I am at the curb, with my cane in front of me, waiting to step off. If I am not going to cross, I will likely pull my cane tight to my body, and be back away from the curb. – Please do not be offended if I tell you I don’t need your help.

In the next lesson, Elaine says we’re going to start working on crossing streets where traffic is a little more heavy, and you can’t always wait for “All Quiet“…

As always, feel free to leave your comments!

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Perfect Focus Blog News and Updates!


We have some minor updates to tell you about… I’ve updated the blog back end to WordPress 2.7.1, and installed some new plugins. Of note as always is our Odiogo Audio plugin and our “Listen Now!” button that has been installed for a few weeks now. I simply LOVE this plugin, and the service is free! I find it very accommodating for people who may visit our blog who are Dyslexic, or have low vision, and would prefer our posts read to them… Very cool!

You’ll now note a “Print This” link at the top of our posts, this will allow you to have a printer friendly version of my posts available to you, incase you want to print out and share a story… I’ve also added a “Possibly Related Posts” plugin, that automatically generates links to, possibly related topics within the blog… And I’ve added a “Popular Posts” plugin as well, for the sidebar to spur interest in my top viewed and commented on subjects.

Some blog linkage updates, now added:

  • 5 Minutes for Special Needs, a blog for parents of special needs children, and props to Ellen from To The Max who now contributes to them as a writer. Ellen’s blog “To The Max” is one of my favorite blogs to follow.
  • Coley’s Corner, Coley, and her son Noah.
  • Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords, Author, Robert Rummel-Hudson and daughter Schuyler who’s Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords.
  • n0thingbuteverything, from Australia, a personal blog, a mother and her son, who has CP.
  • According to Jude, A blog about a baby’s story, and struggles of his loving mom. Please prey for baby Jude.
  • Dr. Barbara Boucher, PhD, PT/OT, and her blog TherExtras.com. Questioning healthcare for children with diagnoses, parenting recommendations, therapy for a meaningful lifestyle change and promoting acceptance for all. An analytical view of the world.

I’ve talked with Dr. Boucher at length about many different subjects in personal e-mails covering many different subjects. I find her views very down to earth and a no BS point of view. (And she comments on my blog as well!) So props to the doc!

As always feel free to visit out friend on the roll, and if you are a friend and are listed, be kind, share the love, and link back to us if you please. You don’t have to, but it’s very appreciated!

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  • Geek Nirvana, Apple Style!


    Mac Pro ©Apple Inc.Oh my, oh my… It feels like Christmas all over again! Today as I scan my normal RSS feeds around computing and technology I’ve found nirvana, (at least I think so). Apple has today announced major updates for the Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro lineup… Now I could care less about the Mac Mini and iMac, though they are still very neat. I almost wet my pants with excitement when the press release also included a brand new Mac Pro desktop!

    Holy mother of god, your going to need permission from NASA or the NSA just to boot up this bad boy.

    Mac Pro ©Apple Inc.

    Simply mind blowing pure speed! I’m officially in geek shock! On my poor credit card…

    The price of such a beast of a machine is not cheap at all, the base price system for a 4-Core machine is $2499, and the base price of the 8-Core system is $3299… Fully loaded, the system I would be looking to buy could be well in excess of $3600 to $6800 depending on options… This is no toy!

    But this brings me to a perplexing situation… As I had mentioned in a past post, I’d really like to get a laptop, the 17-inch, MacBook Pro… It’s configuration for my needs would cost $3300. So the question is, who’s first? Should I upgrade my aged PowerMac G5 1.8GHz desktop to a new kick ass Mac Pro; or should I buy the MacBook Pro to become more mobile…

    The Mac Pro desktop would certainly still be faster then a laptop, and I could hook it up to my 23-inch Apple HD Display. The desktop may be used more, as I’m at my desk a lot, chatting, blogging, or working on photos…

    The MacBook Pro laptop, would allow me to be more mobile, which I am working very hard to become. I want to be able to take a computer on travels, blog, and work on photos when I am not at my desk, such as at a wrestling match or baseball game. I could also use the laptop to show my work to clients at games or at the school. This could potentially increase my photo sales. Not to mention, encourage me to travel. There are some very nifty GPS units that you can use with laptops!


    ©Apple Inc.

    At it stands now, at this very moment I do still think I’m going to buy the 17-inch MacBook Pro… But that may change, after I change my underwear… If you feel you want to weigh in on this debate in my mind, by all means feel free to comment, I could use all the help I can get! After all, you want to help me spend my money, right?

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