Supporting the Emotional Adjustment to Blindness from the Beginning of Cane Travel Instruction

By Justin M. H. Salisbury, MA, NOMC, NCRTB, NCUEB

Preferred Citation

Salisbury, J.M.H. (2020). Supporting the Emotional Adjustment to Blindness from the Beginning of Cane Travel Instruction. Journal of Blindness Innovation & Research, 9(2). Retrieved from https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir20/jbir100102.html. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/10-161

Abstract

An emotional adjustment to blindness is the keystone to the blindness rehabilitation process. An instructor has the ability to support or detract from that adjustment from the very beginning of training, and, at some training centers, the cane travel instructor is the first instructor to work with the student. This article discusses the ways in which the cane travel instructor can support or detract from that emotional adjustment, thus setting the pace and leaving a first impression for the entire training process. It discusses parts of cane travel instruction but does not provide a comprehensive manual on how to teach. Pre-cane skills, including trailing, squaring off, sighted guide, protective techniques, and the use of pre-canes themselves, are discussed. Everything that an instructor does will impact a student’s emotional adjustment to blindness.

Keywords

Blindness, Structured Discovery, cane travel, orientation and mobility, pre-cane skills


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/10-161

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2020 to the National Federation of the Blind.