Mobility | 03 July 2016

Mobility

Getting from point A to point B with poor vision is often the most frustrating complication for those with low vision. In countries with efficient and safe public transport this is easily overcome, but low vision travellers are often a soft target for criminals in the less developed countries.

Symbol Cane

This is a short fold down cane that is usually the first mobility aid used by people with decreasing vision. No training is required and although sometimes helpful for finding the edge of a step or similar simple tasks it is not really useful for people with very limited vision. Its main function is to alert other people to your loss of vision. Another way of doing this is to wear a low vision lapel badge. Either will often save you embarrassment and ridicule from the unsuspecting public.

Long Cane

The efficient and safe use of a long cane requires specialized training from a mobility instructor, but for people with severe loss of peripheral vision, this can be a liberating tool. Electronic canes with audio sensors are also available.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

A number of trials have been completed integrating Global Positioning Systems as a navigational aid.

Skills of Daily Living Instruction

As a part of mobility training, some organisations provide a Skills of Daily Living (SDL) instructor who will offer useful tips on orientation, training and coping techniques for the home or work place.

Seeing Eye Dog/Guide Dog

NGO’s provide this service in most countries but life style and cultural acceptance can be a contributing factor. Most providers insist on long cane training before a seeing-eye dog will be provided. Training at the NGO and in your home environment is required.

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