Compass directions

In searching for something to write about today I came across something that can help the parents, maybe the para-professionals, and maybe the teachers of a blind child or student. I posted this on Thursday because it talks about mobility and orientation, but it could have also went up on Wednesday. That is why it is in two categories on this blog. I hope you enjoy.

I can’t think of a better way to introduce a article than to tell about my own experience with learning compass directions. I mean I guess I could be like “here’s this article thing. Read it, or don’t.”, but where’s the fun in that? Okay… here goes the story!

When I first started learning my compass directions I learned them how the article described “In front of you is north” ETC. However, I learned them while standing on the street and also based on the sun’s position in the sky. As you can probably imagine this was great if one is standing outside, but not so great when looking at a map. To this day I still have to look at the little compass thing on the map before I can locate anything and if there isn’t one I am completely lost. I suppose the great thing is that I always know which direction I’m traveling based on where the sun is, or maybe not. I guess it depends on the time of day. 🙂

Well that is how *not* to teach your child compass directions, but what can you do. The article lists a few suggestions and you can check out the article here. One of the reasons I suggested that it might be good for teachers or Para-professionals is because instead of saying “object A is to the left” one could say “Object is to the west” and so on. This is assuming that the child in question has learnd his/her directions first though. 😀 I hope you enjoy this article.

Thanks for reading!

P. S. This article I linked to earlier is not mine. If you found anything within the linked-in article itself that you think might be a mistake or wrong pleas don’t contact me about it. Instead you might want to contact familyconnect.org as the article is there property. Just thought I’d put that out there.

PPS. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the article. Just giving copyright to whomever has it. 😀 That being said if you find any mistakes in anything I posted and you think I should correct it please tweet me personally or contact the blog’s twitter Just putting that out there for any new readers who haven’t read the contact us page yet. 😉

ADA and related things

I am writing this blog simply because I have seen one too many instances where blind people with service dogs are being asked to leave. While at the same time I’ve seen other stories about people who are denied jobs ETC. I am writing this because I can maybe educate those who work at or own a business. Pass it on.

The ADA (Americans with disabilities act) prevents discrimination of people of disabilities and whether blind people like being classified as such or not blindness is considered a disability. That means should someone come in with a service dog you can’t legally throw them out. You might be able to ask for proof that the dog is indeed a service dog, but you can’t throw them out if the dog really is a service dog. (Someone who has a service dog correct me if I’m wrong, and provide the relevant information please) Like wise you can’t legally refuse to hire someone, refuse to rent to someone, because of or other wise discriminate against someone with a disability

Here is the ADA’s webpage should you require more information. Note: right after I post this blog that page will be going up on the favorite blogs and sites page. So by the time you see this post it should be already added. Assuming that I don’t become majorly distracted or my tablet doesn’t crash. So should you need this link for any reason just click on the favorite blogs and sites page, find the heading that says “Education and help”, find the site you want, and click on it. It will always be there unless this site gets taken down for some unknown reason, or for some reason the ADA’s site gets taken down permanently. In the event that happens please bookmark, or favorite this link *found above*.

Thanks for reading!

Guide Dog Journey Day 5 – Puppy the Monkey

3 September 2015
I’m affectionately calling this post, “puppy the monkey. “This dog has been testing me all day, which is really good because she’s only going to keep testing me to see what all she can get away with. She’s Learning pretty quickly that I won’t be putting up with it. Let’s just say that I’ve had to give a few hard corrections this evening, she kept popping up under the table trying to get at my supper, and she also tried to play with a couple of the dogs.
Other than that, the day has been pretty uneventful. We did our regular morning route which went fine. We’re working on steadying her a little bit on hills, but other than that her work is good.
In the afternoon, we learned how to target our doors using the clicker, and also how to groom our dog. We were going to also be playing with our dogs, but some of us didn’t have enough time. We’re apparently going to do that either tomorrow or Saturday.

Our lecture this evening was on corrections, positive reinforcement, and distractions. I really appreciate GEB for their use of both positive reinforcement and corrections work. They are both very effective pieces of training tools. These dogs need to know when they’ve done a good job but they also need to know when they’ve screwed up.

Guide Dog Journey – Day 4

2 September 2015

Today we started by doing obedience with the dogs in alumni hall. Puppy did a lot better with meal times than yesterday. She got up a few times, but not as much.

Today we headed down to White Plains to work with the dogs on the initial route that we’ll be working on for the rest of the week and possibly in to Monday. It’s a very easy route with different types of intersections, and we get to praise our left and right turns. My tone and commands are coming along really nicely. It will be amazing to see how puppy does when not attached to our trainer’s support leash. We did really well both in the morning and the afternoon routes.

When we got back to the school we had a lecture about leaving our dogs alone, traffic safety and street crossings. We are to be practising the “Touch” command, which means you are trying to target an item such as our door handle and wanting the dog to find it. When we use “Touch,” we use a closed fist underneath the door handle, and she is to put her nose on my fist. Once they’ve done this we reward them.

We are also to be practising leaving the dogs alone for short periods of time. For right now, we’re only supposed to leave them alone for about five minutes. We are to stay close to the door so that if they make any noise we can tell them to be quiet. So far, puppy has been vey good and hasn’t whined when I was outside the door.

It’s now about 12 after seven. I am sitting at the desk, writing this blog, and puppy is in her crate sleeping. One of the best attributes about this dog, she settles so quickly! This will be especially useful if I get a job with a university or have to sit at a desk for a few hours. She was falling asleep on the floor earlier after we got back from White Plains.
I forgot to mention, while we were driving back from White Plains, puppy and another student’s dog were sleeping beside each other, harnesses touch. It was really cute!
Well, it’s almost time for park. I really hope that she poops.

I didn’t get a poop, so we’re going to try again at 9:30. Now she’s just laying at my feet as I type this. She’s finally showing interest in her Nylabone! 🙂

9:30 has come and gone, and still no pooping! Perhaps she’ll do it at the end of the week?

Guide Dog Journey – Day 2

31 August 2015 – Juno Day
Today was Juno day! This morning we practiced juno obedience, then out to White Plains. It’s a really nice ride out to the student lounge, and there’s certainly lots to do there. They have an exercise room, balcony, coffee machine just like the one in the Yorktown Heights building, and so many comfy couches and chairs.

 

In the morning, in groups of two, we each worked with one of the instructors on our juno walk, and halfway through we switched instructors. I thought that the walk went well. The pull and pace were excellent. I can walk really quickly with a dog (even though it was a pretend one) than a cane. It feels amazing!

 

When we were about to head back to the student lounge, we were asked to wait while they got us a dog to try. This dog may or may not be the dog that I will be matched with tomorrow morning. The dog that I was working with was a really cute female yellow lab. She was tiny, was really calm, didn’t make a move when I dropped two treats on the ground by accident, and her speed and pull were excellent too!

After Juno this morning, we had lunch and had our lecture in White Pains. We also did a building orientation.

Around 4:15 or so, we had a meet and greet with some of the members of staff including the President of Guiding Eyes, the nursing staff, and a graduate who is also the manager of graduate services for the school.

Tomorrow is dog day… I can’t wait! The game starts now. Yellow? Black? Male? Female? Go!

Thanks for reading!

Guide Dog Journey – Day One

30 August 2015
Well, I am currently sitting at my desk in my room at Guiding Eyes. The room where I am staying is really nice! We have a television, mini fridge, wi-fi, our own phone, and so much more.
Let me back up a bit. I left my house around 7 (I had been up since 4:30) and we got through the airport and such just fine. The flight was smooth, and my seat mate Josh was a really awesome guy. Thanks for the great conversation if you’re reading this.

I got assistance at the airport to help me to baggage, and the IA (instructor’s assistants) met me and we waited for a few more students. We set off in the van around 1:30 or so and I believe we got there around 2:00. I got unpacked, got a tour of the room, and some school orientation, and then we had lunch around 3 and supper at five. The food here is very good!
We also had an introduction lecture this evening. There are about 10 of us in class, and three of us are new dog handlers. We discussed the rules and regulations, learned about the different types of collars, the harness and leash, and discussed juno work. We also got our schedule, which is changing like crazy this week. Tuesday just needs to hurry up and get here now.

I will write more about juno work tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Guide Dog Journey – Introduction

Introduction
Let’s go back seven years ago. 2008, sixteen years old, still in high school and living out in the country, and unsure about getting a guide dog or not. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and up until college, I didn’t want a guide dog. But, after not completing college do to accessibility issues, I still had the living situation to worry about, plus my independent living skills weren’t so good anymore, because during college I didn’t have an opportunity to use them. I attended the Colorado Centre for the Blind from 1 June 2012-7 March 2013, and after receiving all of the training, it kindled my interest in getting a guide dog.

 

I applied to Guiding eyes in August of 2014 after doing a ton of research on different schools, speaking to graduates from each school, and then finally making my dicision.

 

I had my application submitted, had to wait until the end of September to finish the medical paperwork, and then the O&M form had to be submitted. I got it all done in late October.

 

I had my home interview on 5 November. I was extremely nervous, as I was unsure of what to expect. The interview lasted about an hour or so. We talked about my traveling, routes that I do on a regular basis, and then we went on a walk for video purposes.

 

On the way back from the walk, which wasn’t a very long one, we did a Juno walk. A Juno walk is where the instructor poses as the dog with the leash and the harness, and you give the commands and hand signals as if it were a guide dog. I personally thought the interview could have gone better, and I was afraid that my veering a few times would have ruined my chances of acceptance. But boy was I wrong.

 

I received an email from the admissions department on 17 November, and it was my acceptance email. I was in shock! Finally, it was happening! I’m getting my first guide dog! After calling the school, we agreed on a class date for 5 July-26 July.

 

That all changed very recently as I write this in March of 2015. I got a call on 6 February from the admissions department. I thought that they were going to say that they had an earlier class date for me. Unfortunately, I was asked if it would be alright to move my class date to the September class because of two college students. This was fine with me as I’m not going back to school at the moment, and so it wouldn’t be fair for me to give up a spot to someone who actually needed it that summer. So now I will be leaving 30 August and returning 20 September.

 

I am looking forward to this new chapter of my life, and I look forward to sharing my experience of getting my first ever guide dog with you all.

 

7 August 2015
I received my flight information this afternoon. I fly out of Detroit airport on 30 August at 10:05 and get in to New York around 11:50.

 

I will write more tomorrow, when I drive at the school, or possibly at the Detroit airport.

 

My Guiding Eyes Journey

Hello everyone!

Well, it’s been a long time since Ive posted a blog up here.

However, I do have some blogs coming up in the next 22 days of my journey getting my first ever guide dog. I will going to Guiding Eyes for the Blind on Sunday, 30 August and returning 20 September.

I will be posting the introduction blog once the file shows up from dropbox.

I hope you enjoy these posts!

Handycapped parking.

I can’t help. but notice that in my part of Missouri (yes I live in MO.) That people aren’t handicapped seem to take up the handicapped parking places. Which, is a very inconsiderate thing to do. What if someone who was, I don’t know handy caped needed that spot, but couldn’t park there because you were already? Wow! What a concept!

I’m not saying that this is true everywhere. However, I have noticed this at the college where I go, and at the place where I had my graduation on Friday. Among other places in and around the places were I live and visit.

What do I mean? I’m not saying that they don’t look handicapped. I’m saying that they don’t have a handicapped sticker in their car, or a license plate. I guess you could have a placard too, but they don’t even have that.

On Friday my uncle encountered such a person. He was waiting for me to get done with graduation practice. Here is what happened.

Person: *pulls up into the parking lot. Parks sideways instead of straight* Uncle watches her get out of the car. Uncle: “Are you handicapped?” Person: (it’s a girl) “No!” Uncle: “Don’t you think you need to move your car then? So that someone who is can park there.” Girl: “I just don’t think that’s necessary.” Uncle: *takes out iphone* ” It’s like this. You have two choices. 1: I’ll call the cops. They’ll make you move your car, and you’ll get fined. 2: move your car. So either move the car, or I’m calling.” *holds out phone* Lady: “Fine!” *stomps foot* *goes back to move her car*

I have no respect for her. Because of how she acted. I mean, it’s not like he asked her to go to Mars, and bring back proof that she was there All he asked her to do was move her car. A task that should have been simple. She did no how to drive, right?

I just thought I’d point out the rules. You can check the ADA (Americans with disabilities act) for everything you need to know. If I’m wrong; please say so.

My uncle was right. If you park in a handicap spot in the state of Missouri, and you have nothing that shows you’re handicapped. Or you’re not handicapped. You can have your car towed, and you can be fined. I’m not sure how much, but I’d rather just move the car. Wouldn’t you?

I can also think of another incident that happened at the college where I attended until graduation. This was between my dad, and another lady. I must say that my dad handled it better than I would have.

I wanted to rip her throat out, and maybe beat her with my cane. Then, demand to know who was handicapped now. I didn’t because that would have resulted in a broken cane. Since I have no funds to replace it (white canes are actually really expensive) I elected not to follow up on what I wanted to do. Anyway, moving on with this crazy train *clears throat* article.

The basic incident happened like this. The lady saw my dad parking, and as soon as he got out. She started accusing him of not being handicapped. 1: He had me with him. Under the ADA blind people are considered handicapped, so that point was mute. 2: He was handicapped. Just because my dad isn’t in a wheelchair doesn’t mean he isn’t handicapped. Why do most people assume that in order to be handy capped one must be in a wheelchair? Hmmm! Must be the sign they use on the stickers and such.

Anyway, long story short. She argued with him about it, and I somehow managed to stand there doing nothing. While inside I was calling her every name I could think of. That if I’d said them aloud the words would’ve probably shocked my father. I guess she thought she was the campus police. News flash! She wasn’t. Telling us we couldn’t park there. In a handicap parking place. *grumbles*

I’m writing this, not to bring about shame, and embarrassment. Though, if it does that’s grate. Maybe you’ll remember that the next time you decide to park in a handicap spot when you’re not handicapped, or don’t have a handicapped person with you. If you do this thing, please ask yourself if getting your vehicle towed, and a probably expensive fine is worth it. For being just a few feet closer to the entrance, and not having to walk so far. I don’t think so. Save the handicapped parking places for those of us who really need them. The handicapped.

I wrote this, so that I can hopefully educate more people on the rules of the handy cap parking. When I googled it (I didn’t do it by state) I just found the rules for parking lots. The number of handy capped spots per number of spaces in a parking lot. Helpful if you’re making a parking lot. Not so much if you’re just a driver.

I know this isn’t Wednesday (Question day), but what is your experience with handy cap parking? Are you handy capped? Do you know someone who is? Has anyone ever yelled at you for taking one of those spots? Please share!

Thanks for reading!

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