Mobility Training

Today I went to ABVI for my second meeting for Mobility Training.  It has been months since I had my first meeting.  When I went to that meeting, I was not ready to think about needing “mobility training.” All I could think was that I did not want a cane and I did not want to think about giving up driving.  That first meeting was pleasant and Kasey, my mobility trainer, was very nice, but I didn’t really enter into the process.

Since that first meeting, Kasey has called me a few times to set up another meeting for training.  I avoided setting a date for a long time.  Then, finally, I was ready.  I wanted to learn how to be more safe in my travel.  I wanted to learn how to use the bus system instead of driving.  So, I returned his call and set a time to meet.

Of course, since we set the training date, I was offered and accepted the position at ABVI.  So, it was kind of weird to go in as both a client and an almost-employee.  I need not have worried.  Our training today was great.  Kasey taught me so many things.  I learned how to walk with a “sighted guide.”  Instead of clinging to my husband’s arm when we are walking, I now know just how to hold his arm with a light touch and can teach him the clues he needs to give me so that I am safe.  Kasey also helped me with some simple ideas for when I am walking alone.  We worked on stairs and that was really hard.  I never realized how much I look down at my feet when I go up and down stairs.  Kasey explained that this is unnecessary and unsafe and had me work on looking up when I am walking up and down stairs.  I had such a hard time, but was able to laugh at myself as I caught myself constantly looking down.

While we were working on mobility training, we walked all over the ABVI building.  The facility is really amazing.  I feel less nervous about my first day, because I now have had sort of a “sneak peek” tour.  There is a huge sewing room where they make items for a contract and another huge area where they make “sticky notes” for another contract.  There is a lovely cafeteria and Kasey says that the food is good.

Next, we talked about the bus.  It seems like it is really easy to take the bus from my house to ABVI.  Kasey offered to take the bus with me one time if I want, just to be sure I know what I am doing.

I am so glad that I had the luxury of waiting until I was mentally ready to get mobility training.  If I had been pushed into it through time constraints or more rapidly deteriorating vision, it would have been really difficult.  Now, I ready to enter into the process of training.  I can embrace the opportunity.  I am also very pleased that I can look forward to working in such a good place.  The whole time we were walking around ABVI, I just felt so excited to think that soon I will be working there.  I have loved working at Nazareth, but I really feel great about my new position and I feel extremely excited about being part of the work ABVI is doing.

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6 thoughts on “Mobility Training

  1. I am a few days behind reading your blog. Congratulations on your new job. I am really happy for you and proud of you. God Bless!

  2. Wonderful Article, Belinda. I know it will be helpful for those who must make the transition. None of us know what the future holds for us. I have been finding it more & more difficult to drive in the night as I have night blindness where everything that is light has a halo. It is confusing. Also, have difficulty with depth. The article helps one to know that there are lots of things that vision impaired people can do, and support systems too. Thanks for writing and posting about your experience with Mobility training thru ABVI (what exactly does ABVI stand for) ~ Anyway, Wishing you the best too in your new job.,

    Cheryl aka Muffyjo

    • Thanks for your kind words, Cheryl. ABVI stands for Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. It’s a nonprofit organization in Rochester that helps people with vision problems. I’ve been working with them for a while, but put of mobility training until now. I haven’t been able to drive after dark for a few months now. I know what you mean about the halos – they make seeing so difficult. I am with you on being happy about all the support and training that is available for those with vision impairment. There is a whole world I never knew about. I am so thankful for the people who are teaching me ways to stay independent. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I have been following your blog for awhile now. I have it linked on my blog at the above blog site. Your post about mobility training is what finally leads me to comment. I began this myself a couple of weeks ago. I wish I had started a long time ago. I no longer can drive. And I have had years of building bad habits of looking down to navigate. It is a shock to the system to discover that my adaptation skills are actually putting me at risk…even though I have experienced such things as head knocking from branch limbs. But I am learning and I hope with this cane–that makes it no longer possible to ‘hide’–I will be safe and … mobile.

    • Roxanne, thanks for commenting. I am glad to hear that you have been reading my blog and I am REALLY glad that you finally commented. 🙂 I must say I was really not ready for mobility training until right now. When I start my new job, I will take the bus. It will be such a relief to stop driving. Safety is so important at this point. Good luck and I hope you write again.

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