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Real life Batman visited Bristol

A very exciting event happened this weekend;
World Access for the Blind President and Lead Perceptual Navigation Instructor Daniel Kish aka ‘Real Life Batman’ is on assignment in the UK and visited Bristol for two days, beginning Sunday, March 12 at 12 Noon.

 Families with blind or low-vision children were welcome to attend to meet and participate in a walk with Daniel to learn more about WAFTB’s FlashSonar™ Echolocation and pioneering full-length navigation cane techniques.

 Daniel Kish, a man who is completely blind and lost sight as a baby has become a pioneer in teaching blind or partially sighted children a new … Read more

Cane out in the big bad world- my fear of public reaction

Scarlett and her journey to use her white cane, or as I like to refer to it, the magic wand of independence started out when she was very young.  I am sure all of you can identify with the post diagnosis buzz words, google searches, YouTube videos, advice from services and one that I can always recall being reiterated over and over was the cane!  So from very early on the cane became part of the furniture in our home.  We were both very lucky that Scarlett was provided with a mobility officer from very early on, and I believe … Read more

A Mobility Lesson with Daniel Kish

If you haven’t heard of Daniel Kish, then watch his TED talk. He is most famous for his use of Flash Sonar. This is a form of echolocation, the navigation mechanism of bats, in which the reflection of sound waves is used to navigate. Alongside Daniel’s spectacular skills in this area, he also advocates for an expectation of complete independent mobility in blind children. While I had thought my expectations were high, I realised that they could go a lot higher. Ronan had the luck to spend a day with Daniel when he was visiting a group of children in … Read more

Guide Dog Experience Day Round Two!

On the 2nd June 2016 we very luckily managed to secure a place on the Guide Dog Experience Day, hosted by Guide Dogs for the Blind and Blind Children UK.  We had attended a similar event in 2014 and I was very keen to see how Scarlett would respond to the lovely labs once again! The Guide Dog Experience Day gave myself and my two children, Scarlett and Sonny plenty of opportunity to learn all about what Guide Dogs do!  From grooming to feeding, the attentive staff were wonderful in teaching parents carers and the kiddies all about what it … Read more

Choosing Ronan’s First Mobility Cane

Getting a cane seemed almost like a right of passage for Ronan into a world a freedom. A world in which he could be confident to go around as he pleased. He has been quite good at doing what he pleases for some time now, but mobility outside the house was a bit trickier. We tried quite a few canes before we got it right. The first cane we tried was from National Federation for the Blind (NFB) as recommended by Joseph Cutter in Independent Movement and Travel in Blind Children. It is extremely light with a small grip. However, … Read more

Guide Dogs- sponsors of Sight Village

Guide Dogs is proud to support Sight Village. At the event visitors have an opportunity to talk to staff from the Manchester team and local service users about how our services can improve your independence and mobility, also and sign up to Friends of Guide Dogs – a free to join community where you can share experiences and talk to others people living with sight loss. Sight Village is a great way for Guide Dogs to meet up with existing and new service users, and is always a highlight in our calendar. For more information on the work of Guide … Read more

I’m an independent traveller!

We have been strongly influenced by Joseph Cutter’s philosophy on mobility for blind children. He proposes that one of the key aspects of mobility in blind child is getting them to think of themselves as independent travellers — people who guide themselves rather than are guided by somebody else. This goes against most standard advice which focuses on teaching children to follow a sighted guided. As we see mobility as one of the prime enablers for Ronan to do what he wishes in life, helping him see himself as an independent traveller has become a big focus of our efforts … Read more

When Fred met Flora

Ever since my friend, Rebecca had been matched with her guide dog we have been trying to meet up. Following on from Fred’s visit to the guide dog breeding centre, he was very keen to meet Flora. The day arrived; we were London bound to meet my ‘original’ mummy friend and children aka the Bloomsbury Babes. It was one of those days where you get four seasons weather in one hour. Flora was nervous at the thunder, Fred waited patiently eating ice cream. The kids didn’t mind they were dancing in the paddling pool in the rain, remaking those memories … Read more

It’s not goodbye, it’s I’ll see you later!

Recently the majority of my head space has been dominated by Scarlett’s pastures new, new school, new teachers, new therapists, new equipment, new routine that I have barely had time to consider what we’ll be leaving behind. I listen to lots of parents who are unhappy with their child’s provision or the input they have been given by their VI team. So it makes me feel truly blessed that my daughter was given the gift of a great network of specialists who worked tirelessly and endlessly at helping Scarlett develop. Whether it be a new idea, or a different approach, … Read more

Desks and Dog beds: Our visit to the Guide Dogs Breeding Centre

I have a confession; I am not a doggy person. We never had pets when I was growing up and I used to cross the road if I saw a dog on the same side as me. I was really apprehensive around them, so my mum told me they could sense fear so if I had to pass one I would whisper to myself “ I love dogs I love dogs” so they didn’t smell the fear. Luckily for Fred he seems not to have inherited this apprehension, in fact quite the opposite – he is drawn to dogs and … Read more