Category: vision loss

Proven mobility aids

  • Navigation Aids

 The white longstock and the blind dog are considered classic navigation aids. The longstock lengthens the range of the arm, allows the determination of materials due to the impact noise or the transmitted vibrations, and thereby supports the echolocalization. Long-haul users go faster and safer than short-haul users. If the longstock is white, this tool is at the same time a globally recognized traffic sign for blindness (for the Federal Republic: Road Traffic Licensing Regulations. Intensively trained blind guide dogs with their holders together guide them past obstacles and can lead familiar paths completely independently.

Their owners report less stress, and they show a lower pulse rate when walking on unknown routes than pure long-haul users. Electronic mobility aids provide blind additional environmental information from a distance. The best scientific investigations have so far been the use of devices that emit ultrasound, receive their reflections, convert them into audible noises, and pass the results to the blinded. The user of these ultrasound aids must learn the device-specific “speech”, i. The allocation of the noises to the spatial situations.  According to the manufacturers, a distinction is made between pure navigation and sensory aids. “Navigation aids” provide information to the blind in an easily understandable form. An example is the Sonic Pathfinder from Heyes . “Sensory Aids” provide their users with as much information as they normally see; This concerns navigation and orientation alike. One example is KASPA by Kay (called Trysensor at the trial stage). It has been shown in many cases that blind people who use ultrasounds in addition to the white longstock reach a higher degree of mobility: users of the Sonic Pathfinder touch fewer obstacles; Adults and children gain navigation and orientation skills with KASPA.

  • Orientation aids

To describe blind ways adequately, falls seeing mostly difficult. By means of palpable (tactile) maps, blind people can already provide a “survey” of unknown areas in the run-up, because spatial conditions are represented here also spatially. However, the total “picture” from the sampled parts of the map must always be put together in the performance. By means of tactile maps, blind people can “comprehend” the spatial relationships in a relatively short time in the truest sense of the word. On the basis of such maps blind people orient themselves better on unknown surfaces than without them; They are quite suitable for blind children.

Streets, citizen blocks, and blocks of houses are presented differently in the original: the map sheet forms the street level; The first level over it (represented by a glued piece of paper) shows the citizen dough, the second level (even more paper) the cattle blocks. This realistic representation is called “positive block representation”. In this figure the three planes are symbolized by hatching; The higher the hatching, the higher the level. In addition to tactile maps, special measures of environmental design blindness can facilitate the orientation. These include, for example, The fortunately increasingly frequent traffic lights with acoustic additional signals, warning and control strips as well as traffic signs with voice information. Traffic signs can be provided with voice information.

A blinder with an infra-red directional device transmits the respective transmitter and receives the stored information therefrom. In doing so, he or she performs circular movements with the direction finding device in order to determine the direction of the signal, that is, the one in which it must go in order to reach the traffic sign. The corresponding technology was developed at the Smith-Cattlewell Institute in San Francisco. With their assistance, blind persons may, for example, The name of the street they are in. Correspondingly equipped bus lines announce their line number, and traffic lights “tell them at green”. Other persons are not bothered by all this information. Blind people are better informed by means of traffic signs with language information than by means of pre-given verbal directions.

Mobility problems

How to deal with mobility problems

The loss of sight only results in the idea of ​​complete helplessness; Blind people learn the use of their remaining senses with appropriate support. As a positive prerequisite for their mobility are a good perception of the other senses, at least an average intelligence, a good spatial imagination and a high risk-tolerance. Negative age-related functional impairments, especially cerebral injuries, which are acquired in addition to the blindness, are evaluated as a result of birth. The time of blindness, on the other hand, plays a minor role. Blindness literally leads to a lack of “foresight” . Those affected are struggling in two areas: navigation and orientation. “Navigation” means the control of space and traffic , “orientation”, the knowledge about the spatial facts and the walkable paths . Blind persons must find the necessary information during the initial ascension of an unknown site. For this purpose they use all available sense channels under high tension. Because of the strong use of the close-ups, they need more landmarks than the see. They must keep in mind the location of each landmark, the way they are perceived, and the way they can get to the next landmark. They store these diverse information in the “cognitive pile” , which is specific to the respective path. From a well-known site, such as the surroundings of their own dwelling-house, they form general concepts which are comparable with the cognitive maps known from the seventh.

Make blind mistakes, they will not find the following landmark. When looking, they look helpless on seeing passersby and so strengthen corresponding prejudices. If necessary, they can – in the case of lack of eye contact – hardly address target groups. But also blind people can rarely adequately support the blind because they do not know those important landmarks; Who respects as a viewer e.g. To the music from a shop that tells the blind that he must turn right? Shame at often proven self-sufficiency and the anxiety or despair experienced, if offered help is not enough, make many blind people the independent way of commuting road traffic so unbearably that they completely avoid this situation. Ironically, therefore, blind people are less often found to be blind. However, the relative freedom from accident is
bought with a high loss of quality of life. Blind people pay this price completely unnecessarily, because there are many old-established and newly developed aids that allow them to safely walk on the roads.But there are many t
hings that can help a blind man put a smile in his face, thing s like traveling. We have gathered some nice information about traveling with your dog here.