Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dogs and canes

In the mainstream sighted world, it is never a good thing to assume the following: That all blind persons use guide dogs. That all blind persons use canes. That all blind persons are unable to travel on their own.

Some of us use guide dogs because it suits us to use them while others like me prefer the use of a cane. I use a cane because I feel more comfortable with one. I admire any blind person who is able to use a guide dog. It is hard work but extremely rewarding when dog and master can develop that special relationship. One cannot pat a cane or talk to them whenever they feel the need to or have to but the use of a cane may still be the preferred method over a dog.

There is so much for us to learn when it comes to understanding how dog and master work together as a cohesive team. I have several friends who are guide dog users and they never tire of teaching me new things about their special relationship with their four legged friends.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and learn more about how guide dogs help to make a difference in the lives of blind and sight impaired persons. Visit www.afb.org to learn more.

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