By Joe MacDonell, O&M Supervisor
Throughout the Fall months (2017), APSEA’s Orientation and Mobility department held workshops for Centre-based staff on guiding techniques. During these small-group training sessions, participants learned practical techniques on how to offer and provide guided assistance to someone who is blind or visually impaired.
The training session also included a video entitled: What Do You Do When You See a Blind Person? In this video actors role-play potentially awkward social situations and use humour to dispel common myths and misconceptions about interacting in general with someone who is blind or visually impaired.
In all, 57 APSEA staff took part in the 90-minute workshop, with each small group representing a cross-section of our Centre-based departments. The feedback on the workshop was strongly positive; and included multiple requests for more in-house training of this sort.
Also, on November 8, a condensed version of the training was provided to the APSEA Board of Directors. As with the staff training sessions, all attending Board members had the opportunity to experience the guiding procedure from both perspectives, i.e., as the guide and as the person being guided (under blindfold). By all accounts, the members of the Board found the training an engaging and insightful experience.
A big ‘thank you!’ is in order to Peter Parsons, APSEA’s Centre-Based O&M Specialist, who facilitated these excellent training sessions, with the skillful assistance of our two UBC O&M Interns: Jen Jesso and Lori Bousfield.