Future Reflections                                                 ___                   Spring/Summer 2003

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Navigator

by Sally Miller

Editorís Note: Going on a road trip this summer? Taking a long weekend to drive up and see your parents? Are you planning to all pile in the car and drive to Springfield to cousin Jimís wedding? Hereís a tip from Sally Miller, President of the South Carolina Parents of Blind Children, about how to make the trip easier for you, fun for your blind child, and a learning experience for all:

Sally and Anna Miller get ready for a road trip.
Sally and Anna Miller get ready for a road trip.

Last year as I contemplated driving to Louisville, Kentucky, for the NFB National Convention, I came up with what I thought was a good idea. Since I was going into a part of the country with which I wasnít familiar, I wanted my daughter to navigate for me. Using my trusty map I planned my route and wrote out the directions. Anna is a Braille reader so I used her Braillewriter to prepare the following instructions:

Directions to Louisville

We will be going through four states.

They are:

†† 1. South Carolina
  
2. North Carolina
  
3. Tennessee
  
4. Kentucky

The major cities weíll be driving through are:

†† 1. Begin in Charleston, South Carolina
   2. Columbia, South Carolina
   3. Then Spartanburg, South Carolina
   4. Asheville, North Carolina
   5. On to Knoxville, Tennessee
  
6. Next is Lexington, Kentucky††††††††††
  
7. Last is Louisville, Kentucky

Driving directions:

1. Begin in Charleston. Go to Interstate 26 and drive north.

2. Continue on I-26 around Columbia.

3. I-26 goes north past Greenville and Spartanburg to the South Carolina/North Carolina border.

4. At Asheville take I-40. Drive west and north through Newport then east to Knoxville.

5. At Knoxville take I-640 from I-40 to I-75.

6. On I-75 drive north through Lake City, Jellico, Williamsburg, Corbin, Mt. Vernon, Berea, and Richmond, to Lexington.

7. At Lexington I-75 intersects with I-64. Go east toward Louisville.

8. Drive on I-64 past Midway, Shelbyville, and Simpsonville.

9. At Louisville, continue on I-64. Watch for signs to the Convention Center.

10. Galt House Hotel is on North Fourth Avenue, between River Road on the north and Main Street on the south.

Return Trip:

†† 1. Get on I-64. Drive to Lexington.
  
2. At Lexington take I-75.
  
3. At Knoxville pick up I-640 to I-40.
  
4. Drive I-40 to Asheville.
  
5. Pick up I-26 and drive to Charleston.

Please drive safely!

As you can see we first established which states and cities through which we would be driving. Then, using numbers to help keep track, each step of the trip was described simply. We also included the return trip.

We practiced reading these directions during the week preceding our trip, thus giving Anna the chance to become familiar with names of cities and route numbers.

On the day of our departure we were prepared for driver and navigator to work together to reach our destination. As a team, with Anna reading each step to me as it was required, we reached our destination and returned home without a wrong turn!

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