A Sighted Guide is a sighted person giving appropriate assistance to a blind or partially sighted person to help them negotiate the environment safely, whilst maintaining dignity and promoting independence.
My Guide aims to make sighted people aware of the best way to help those who are partially sighted to get around – crossing roads, going up and down stairs, getting through doorways.
The course lasts about 3 hours. The trainer Rick Allbrook brought with him one of his clients who had no sight at all and she was able to describe to us the difficulties she had in getting around. Some of the techniques explained were based on common sense – for example, always precede the partially sighted person through doorways and let them hold on to the handrail on the stairs , but there were also more subtle aspects to be aware of. At the end of the morning we all had some experience of what it was like to have little or no sight when we took it in turns to be blindfolded and led out of the room, down the stairs and across the road to a nearby bench – not easy!”
Grahame Flynn, Devon in Sight’s Chief Executive Officer added, “I undertook My Guide training in my first month with the charity. It certainly opened my eyes to the difficulties that our clients experience. The first time I used the training was at the UK Vision Conference in London when I guided one of the speakers through Westminster, to the underground and to his train at Paddington! It gave me confidence. I immediately made the training part of our induction for all new staff and volunteers!”
MyGuide is an Accredited Course by Vision 2020 and has been set up and developed in collaboration with other charities in the Sight Loss Sector to create a consistent level of training in Sighted Guiding. More information can be found on the MyGuide website www.myguide.org.uk
To find out more about My Guide Courses please ring the Devon in Sight Helpline:
Tel: 01392 876 666.