BLENNZ: Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ

Te Kotuituinga Mātauranga Pura o Aotearoa

BLENNZ Developmental Orientation & Mobility (DOM)

June 26, 2014 by blennzict | 1 Comment

Kia ora and welcome to the beginning of the BLENNZ Developmental Orientation & Mobility (DOM) resource sharing project.  DOM is a Specialist Service – like OT and physio – that school students who have Vision Impairment may be able to access to support their ongoing development of their MOTIVATION to MOVE and engage their world.  Continue Reading →

Introducing the cane

June 26, 2012 by blennzict | 0 comments

The cane can be part of an overall O&M programme.

Mum with her toddler using guiding to encourage the toddler to trail the fence

Figure 1 – Mum with her toddler using guiding.

Toddler child sitting on a bouncy spring caterpillar toy with mum sitting to her right

Figure 2 – Toddler child sitting on a bouncy spring caterpillar toy

When to introduce a cane is a family and team decision

We believe early is best but it must be positive for the child and family.

Young child sitting on the floor holding the top of a cane with adult sitting to her left watching on.

Figure 3 – Young child sitting on the floor exploring her cane

Take time and keep it low key! Explore it and play with it.

A young child leaning against a sofa exploring the handle of a cane

Figure 4 – A young child exploring her cane.

Play games and don’t worry if it isn’t used properly

It’s about making the cane a normal part of the day and routine.

  • Bonk things with it,
  • Tap a drum,
  • Put it in the buggy.
A young child holding the top of a cane, tapping the cane on the floor

Figure 5 – Tapping the cane on the floor

Have a place to hang it. This way the child can help get it as part of the routine.

Cane leaning against the curtain

Figure 6 – Cane leaning against the curtain

Personalise your cane

  • You can hang a toy on it,
  • Give it a name,
  • Decorating it with stickers is always fun too!
A young girl with her cane.  It has a teddy bear hanging from the handle.

Figure 7 – A teddy bear hanging from the cane handle.

Use other techniques with the cane to explore the exciting world!

Self protection.

Child walking toward road crossing with cane in right hand and left hand out in front of her, using self protection technique.

Figure 8 – Child walking toward road crossing with cane in right hand and left hand out in front of her, using self protection technique.

Trailing.

Child standing to the right of bollard beside a road crossing with cane in her right hand, trailing the chain that connects the bollards.

Figure 9 – Child standing to the right of bollard beside a road crossing with cane in her right hand, trailing the chain that connects the bollards.

Have a motivating reason for using it!

Child sitting at a table in a food court with a biscuit on the table. She is using search technique to find her cookie.

Figure 10 – Child using search technique to find her cookie on a table.

Check with your local Resource Teacher: Vision for more information.

This resource is available for download in both Powerpoint and Word versions.

Developed by Moving Forward Ltd and BLENNZ, 2014.

Control over the social world

June 26, 2012 by blennzict | 0 comments

If we all use the same strategies to interact with the student with low vision, that student can develop a greater sense of anticipation and predictability. This takes away the guess work and gives a sense of control.

Adult and child walking along a path. The adult is guiding the child. The child is holding onto the adults fingers as she is not tall enough to take the adults wrist

Figure 1 – The adult is guiding the child.

Guiding and supporting interaction

Approach: Say your name and offer to assist, taking TIME for the student to respond!

Contact: Offering the hand is a socially acceptable and known method. He then knows where you are, and he can take your arm, without ‘groping’.

The photo is of the guides hand connecting with the person who will be guided hand

Figure 2 – The guide’s hand connecting the guided person’s hand,

The Yoke Grip or other adapted grips may be useful

Yoke grip

The picture is of the person being guided holding the arm of the guide, using yolk grip. The yolk grip is where the person being guided holds the guide's arm with their thumb on the outside of the arm and their fingers on the inside of the guide's arm, nearest the guides body.

Figure 3 – Guiding using yolk grip.

This adapted grip may be useful if the student needs more support.

Student with their arm linked around adult/peer's elbow. The student, being guided has all of their fingers and their thumb wrapped around the guide's arm.

Figure 4 – Guiding using an arm linked around guide’s elbow.

Shorter people may need to hold lower than the elbow.

Child, being guided, is holding on to the adult guide's fingers rather than arm as the student is not tall enough to take the guide's arm comfortably.

Figure 5 – Child holding on to guide’s finger.

The child being guided is holding on to adult guide around their wrist because the child is not tall enough to take the guide's arm.

Figure 6 – The child being guided is holding on to adult guide around their wrist.

Other guiding techniques

Narrow spaces.

When the space is too narrow for the guide and traveler to move through together, the guide moves their guiding arm to the centre of their back and out. This prompts the traveler to straighten their arm and step behind into single file.

Figure 7 – Guiding through narrow spaces.

Contacting objects.

Person holding on to sighted guide's arm, using the normal guiding grip. The guide has placed her hand on the back of the seat and the person with vision impairment is running their other hand down the guides arm to connect with the chair back.

Figure 8 – Person holding on to sighted guide’s arm, using the normal guiding grip.

Steps

Sighted guide and person who has a vision impairment standing at the top of the steps, sighted guide on the right and person who has a vision impairment on the left next to the hand rail. Person who has a vision impairment is holding sighted guide's left elbow. The guide reaches across the travelers body with their guiding arm to indicate the hand rail should the traveler wish to take it.

Figure 9 – Guide and traveller standing at the top of steps

Sighted guide standing with her right foot on the first step down and left foot at the top. Person who has a vision impairment is standing at the top of the steps on the sighted guide's left side, next to the handrail. Person who has a vision impairment is holding sighted guide's left elbow and the handrail in their other hand. The guide pauses at the first step to allow the traveler to feel the first step down.

Figure 10 – Guide and traveller walking down the stairs.

The guide progresses down the steps till the last one where she pauses at the last step to indicate to the traveler that there is just one more step.

Figure 11 – Guide and traveller moving down the steps.

Encouraging connection with the world

Use hand under hand if needed.

Hand under hand is shown. Person with a vision impairment has right had resting on sight guide's right hand. The guide is using hand under hand to encourage the person with vision impiarment to connect with the door handle.

Figure 12 – Hand under hand.

Better still, if needed encourage trailing down your arm or the cane. Or if needed use the Three Stage Prompt:

  • Verbal – wait,
  • Verbal with tapping or other concrete clue,
  • Hand under hand.
Picture of guide's arm connecting with the door handle. Guide's other hand is using hand under hand to encourage the traveler who has vision impairment to slide their hand down the guide's arm to the door handle.

Figure 13 – Guide’s arm connecting with the door handle.

Guiding strategies

Even better use guiding to support engagement with the world and learn strategies such as trailing.

Mum with her toddler walking along a fence. Mum is guiding the toddler and the toddler is trailing the fence.

Figure 14 – Mum with her toddler walking along a fence.

Guiding can be like being in a learning bubble

  • In the learning bubble we are just moving in space and not connecting with the world,
  • What do we learn?

Check with your local Resource Teacher: Vision for more information.

This resource is available for download in both Powerpoint and Word versions.

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