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Virginia, Ann, and Barbara—my wife and daughters—make my life and work worthwhile and possible. Here are my love and support.

Dr. Kenneth Jernigan has for me, as for so many others, been my mentor and guide. He taught me what I know about blindness and showed me that I could live a full life. He also gave me comments on this booklet.

For their support, inspiration, and comments, I thank my friends in the National Federation of the blind: Lloyd Rasmussen, Judy Rasmussen, Debbie Brown, Arlene Hill, Sharon Duffy, and Mary Ellen Gabias.

Any writer needs to find and gain access to relevant material, and I was helped by Norma Belt, my reader, and Carol Strauss, reference librarian.

I appreciate the discussions of shared experiences with Alan and Billie Ruth Schlank. As a beginning author, I appreciate the help in editing offered by Carl Knoettner. I thank my students who taught me as I was teaching them.

About the Author

Thomas Bickford became blind at the age of seventeen from glaucoma. Mr. Bickford started using a cane during the summer between high school and college because his sight was fading past the point of usefulness for travel. He learned some basic cane techniques from a fellow college student. After college, he attended the California Orientation Center for the Blind where, among other things, he took formal instruction in cane travel and met and joined the National Federation of the Blind. Mr. Bickford holds his B.A. degree from Occidental College, Los Angeles, and his M.A. degree from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. For the past twenty-six years Mr. Bickford has worked for the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Washington, D.C. He makes his home in suburban Maryland with his wife and two daughters. Since people ask how much a blind traveler can see, Mr. Bickford speaks of himself as "very totally blind."

TO: L. Q. "Larry" Lewis.                         May he rest in peace because I walk with confidence.

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Copyright National Federation of the Blind 1993