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INTRODUCTION

Human Guide Techniques

Introduction

This review guide is a supplement to the Step-By-Step series on orientation & mobility. Designed for use by students who are preparing to become O&M specialists and by other vision professionals alike, this review guide provides the user with a quick, sequential, and pictorial review of the mobility skills taught in the study guide module, Human Guide Techniques. Whether used to prepare for a test, or to provide a quick refresher when preparing to teach a new or forgotten skill, it is hoped that this review guide will be of value to the user.

This review guide is provided in a durable, hard-copy format to enable individuals to use it out on the street or when working with students. This guide is also provided in electronic format. For more detailed information about the mobility skills, please see the Step-By-Step Study Guide or the Step-By-Step videos on flash drive.

WITHOUT A CANE

Basic Human Guide

Contact: Guide-Initiated

The guide touches the traveler’s hand or forearm.

The traveler slides her hand up to the guide’s elbow.


- The guide may bend and straighten his elbow to help the traveler find it.

Contact: Traveler Initiated

The traveler reaches her straight arm out to the side.

Or, she may bend her elbow and contact the guide’s arm with the back of her hand.

The traveler locates and grasps the guide’s elbow.

- The guide may bend and straighten his elbow to help the traveler find it.

Grasp

The traveler grasps the guide’s arm just above the elbow.

Arm Position

The guide’s arm hangs at his side.

The traveler holds her elbow close to her side.

Walking

Front View

Side View

The traveler walks with her shoulder aligned directly behind the guide’s shoulder.

To verify shoulder alignment

The guide can look back at the traveler (without rotating his trunk).

Or, the traveler can feel the guide’s shoulder and then her own shoulder.

Breaking Contact

The guide rotates his arm.

The traveler releases her grasp on the guide’s arm.

Narrow Spaces With a Guide

Standard

The guide signals the traveler that they are approaching a narrow space by reaching his guiding arm behind him with his hand centered at midline.

The traveler moves directly behind the guide, reaching her grasp arm across her body.

As the guide and traveler pass through the narrow space, the guide looks back at the traveler to verify her safe passage through the space.

The guide returns his arm to his side, signaling that they have passed through the narrow space.

The guide and traveler then resume travel.

Reversing Direction With a Guide

Breaking Contact

Either the traveler or the guide indicates a need or desire to reverse direction.

The guide breaks contact with the traveler, or she breaks contact with him.

The traveler and guide turn 180 degrees, turning toward one another.

The guide reestablishes contact with the traveler.

Pivot

Either the guide or traveler indicates a need or desire to reverse direction.

Without breaking contact, the guide and traveler turn around; either the traveler or the guide can serve as the pivot point.

- Traveler as pivot

- Guide as pivot

Maintaining Contact

Either the guide or the traveler indicates a need or desire to reverse direction.

The guide and traveler turn toward each other; the traveler locates and grasps the guide’s free arm.

The traveler releases her original grasp on the guide’s arm.

The guide and traveler complete the turn.

Hand-Over-Hand

Either the guide or the traveler indicates a need or desire to reverse direction.

As they begin to make a 90 degree turn in the same direction, the traveler grasps the guide’s guiding arm and releases her original grasp.

The traveler and guide continue to turn around.

- The traveler may trail the guide’s back as they do so.

The traveler grasps the guide’s free arm, and releases her grasp on his original guiding arm.

The traveler grasps the guide’s opposite arm above her other hand.

The traveler then releases her other hand as they complete the turn.

Transferring Sides

Hand-Over-Hand

Either the guide or traveler indicates a need or desire to change sides.

With her free hand, the traveler grasps the guide’s guiding arm above her original grasp hand; she then releases her original grasp.

The traveler steps behind the guide.

Trailing the guide’s back, if necessary, she locates and grasps the guide’s free arm.

The traveler releases her grasp on the guide’s original guiding arm.

She then grasps his opposite arm with her now free hand and she releases her original grasp on that arm.

The guide and traveler resume travel.

Scoop

Either the guide or traveler indicates a need or desire to change sides.

The traveler places the back of her free hand against the back of the guide’s guiding arm, above her grasp hand.

The traveler releases her original grasp.

She either turns 90 degrees or straightens her trailing arm and then trails the guide’s back to locate and grasp his opposite arm.

The guide and traveler resume travel.

Doors With a Guide

Self-Closing Doors, Traveler on the Hinge Side: Push Door

The guide and traveler approach the door perpendicularly.

The guide places the traveler in the NARROW SPACES WITH A GUIDE position.

The traveler places her free arm in the UPPER HAND & FOREARM position.

The guide moves forward and positions the door stile where the traveler’s hand will contact it.

He looks back to verify that she passes through the door safely.

The traveler assumes the weight of the door.

The traveler passes the door and then releases it to close behind her.

Self-Closing Doors, Traveler on the Hinge Side: Pull Door

The guide and traveler approach the door perpendicularly.

The guide places the traveler in the NARROW SPACES WITH A GUIDE position, if necessary, and opens the door.

The traveler places her free arm in the UPPER HAND & FOREARM position.

The guide moves forward and positions the door stile where the traveler’s hand will contact it.

The traveler does not reach for the door.

As the guide moves forward, he looks back at the traveler to verify that she passes through the door safely.

The traveler assumes the weight of the door.

After passing through the door, the traveler releases it to close behind her.

Self-Closing Doors, Traveler on the Latch Side: Push Door

The guide and traveler approach the door perpendicularly.

The guide places the traveler in the NARROW SPACES WITH A GUIDE position.

The traveler assumes the “partial-transfer” position.

As the guide moves forward, he looks back at the traveler to ensure that she passes through the door safely.

The guide pauses and positions the door so that the traveler’s hand will contact it on, or near, the stile.

The traveler assumes the weight of the door.

After passing through the door, the traveler releases it to close behind her.

Self-Closing Doors, Traveler on the Latch Side: Pull Door

The guide and traveler approach the door perpendicularly.

The guide places the traveler in the NARROW SPACES WITH A GUIDE position and opens the door.

The traveler assumes the “partial-transfer” position behind the guide.

The guide moves forward and positions the door so that the traveler’s hand will contact it on, or near, the stile.

The traveler does not reach for the door.

As the guide moves forward, he looks back at the traveler to verify that she passes through the doorway safely.

The traveler assumes the weight of the door.

The traveler releases the door, allowing it to close behind her.

Manual-Closing Doors

The guide and traveler approach the door perpendicularly.

The guide places the traveler in the NARROW SPACES WITH A GUIDE position, if necessary, and opens the door.

The traveler does a “partial-transfer,” if necessary, and places her free arm in the UPPER HAND & FOREARM position.

The guide moves forward and positions the stile where the traveler’s hand will contact it.

- As the guide moves forward, he looks back at the traveler to verify that she is positioned to pass through the doorway safely.

After contacting the door, the traveler slides her hand to the doorknob.

The guide releases the door when the traveler grasps the doorknob.

The guide and traveler pass through the doorway.

The traveler then pushes or pulls the door closed behind her.

Stairs With a Guide

Ascending Stairs: Pause, Then Step Up

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

The guide stops in front of the first step.

He may pull his arm forward to signal the traveler to move forward to the first step.

The traveler can locate the handrail, if desired.

The guide proceeds to climb the stairs; the traveler follows one step behind him.

To signal arrival at the landing, the guide may either give an “arm pull” or pause while the traveler climbs the last step.

Once on the landing the traveler and guide resume travel.

Ascending Stairs: Step Up and Pause

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

The guide climbs the first step and then pauses.

The traveler can locate the handrail, if desired.

The traveler follows one step behind the guide as they climb the stairs.

To signal arrival at the landing, the guide may either give an “arm pull,” or pause while the traveler climbs the last step.

Once on the landing, the traveler and guide resume travel.

Ascending Stairs: No Pause

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

The guide walks up the first step without pausing. He may hike his shoulder as he climbs the first step to signal the traveler that they are beginning to climb the stairs.

The traveler can locate the handrail, if desired.

The traveler follows one step behind the guide as they climb the stairs.

To signal arrival at the landing, the guide may either give an “arm pull,” or pause while the traveler climbs the last step.

Once on the landing, the traveler and guide resume travel.

Descending Stairs: Standard

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

The guide stops at the edge of the top step. He pulls his arm forward to bring the traveler up to the edge of the step and then tenses his arm to prevent the traveler from overstepping the edge.

The traveler can locate the handrail, if desired.

The traveler follows one step behind the guide as they proceed down the stairs.

To signal arrival at the landing, the guide may either give an “arm pull” or pause while the traveler walks down the last step.

Once on the landing, the traveler and guide resume travel.

WITH A CANE

Carrying a Cane When Walking With a Guide

Diagonal Technique

The traveler holds her cane in the DIAGONAL position, but with the cane tip in front of her own foot.

Touch Technique

The traveler performs the TOUCH technique, but shortens the arc on the guide’s side.

Vertical Position

The traveler holds the cane vertically against the front of her shoulder with her arm straight.

The cane tip is 2-4 inches above the ground either in front of, or to the side of, her foot.

Narrow Spaces With a Cane and Guide

Standard

The guide reaches his guiding arm behind him with his hand centered in midline, to signal that he and the traveler are approaching a narrow space.

The traveler positions her cane vertically or semi-vertically and close to her body.

She and the guide perform the NARROW SPACES WITH A GUIDE technique through the area.

The guide returns his guiding arm to his side to signal the end of the narrow space.

The guide and traveler resume travel.

Reversing Direction With a Cane and Guide

Breaking Contact

Either the guide or the traveler indicates a need or desire to reverse direction.

The guide breaks contact with the traveler, or she can break contact with him.

The traveler positions her cane vertically or semi-vertically.

The traveler and guide turn toward each other as they turn around.

The traveler transfers the cane to her other hand.

The guide reestablishes contact with the traveler.

The guide and traveler resume travel.

Hand-Over-Hand

Either the guide or the traveler indicates a need or desire to reverse direction.

The traveler positions her cane vertically.

She then grasps the guide’s arm with her cane hand and releases her original grasp.

The guide and traveler turn 90 degrees, both turning in the same direction. As they turn, the traveler locates and grasps the guide’s opposite arm.

Or, she can “trail” the guide’s back with her free hand to locate his other arm.

The traveler releases her grasp on the guide’s original arm, and then grasps his opposite arm with her cane hand.

She transfers the cane to her other hand.

The guide and the traveler complete the turn and then resume travel.

Transferring Sides When Carrying a Cane

Scoop

Either the guide or the traveler indicates a need or desire to change sides.

The traveler places her cane in a vertical position.

She transfers the cane to her grasp hand and places the back of her now free hand against the back of the guide’s guiding arm, above her grasp hand.

The traveler releases her original grasp, continuing to hold the cane in that hand.

She either turns 90 degrees or straightens her trailing arm and then trails the guide’s back with the back of her non-cane hand to locate and grasp his opposite arm.

The traveler grasps the guide’s elbow.

The guide and traveler resume travel.

Hand-Over-Hand

Either the guide or the traveler indicates a need or desire to change sides.

The traveler positions her cane vertically.

With her cane hand, the traveler grasps the guide’s guiding arm above her original grasp hand; she then releases her original grasp.

The traveler steps behind the guide and trails the guide’s back with her free hand, if necessary, to locate and grasp the guide’s free arm.

The traveler releases the grasp of her cane hand on the guide’s original guiding arm and reaches across to grasp his opposite arm.

The traveler then releases the grasp of her non-cane hand on this arm and transfers her cane to that hand.

The guide and traveler resume travel.

Doors With a Cane and Guide

Traveler on the Hinge Side

When the guide opens the door, the traveler transfers the cane to her grasp hand.

The traveler and guide perform the DOORS WITH A GUIDE technique.

Traveler on the Latch Side

When the guide opens the door, the traveler positions her cane vertically and grasps the guide’s arm with her cane hand.

The traveler and guide perform the DOORS WITH A GUIDE technique.

Stairs With a Cane and Guide

Ascending Stairs: Standard

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

When the traveler’s cane tip contacts the first riser, she anchors the cane and walks with the guide up to the first step.

The traveler positions the cane tip against the riser of the second or third step. The traveler holds the cane either vertically or semi-vertically.

The guide and traveler climb the stairs using the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique.

- As they do so, the traveler’s cane tip contacts each riser lightly.

Upon reaching the landing, the traveler and guide resume travel.

Descending Stairs: Standard

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

Using the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique, the guide and traveler walk up to the first step.

The traveler anchors her cane shaft against the edge of the top step and walks up it.

Holding the cane in the DIAGONAL position, the traveler follows one step behind the guide as they walk down the stairs using the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique.

Upon reaching the landing, the traveler and guide resume travel.

Ascending Stairs: No Pause

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

When the traveler’s cane tip contacts the first riser, she anchors her cane as the guide walks up the first step.

The traveler and the guide climb the stairs using the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique. As they do so, the traveler’s cane tip contacts each riser lightly.

Upon reaching the landing, the traveler and the guide resume travel.

Ascending Stairs: Cane in the Vertical Position

Using the CARRYING A CANE WHEN WALKING WITH A GUIDE technique (Vertical Position), the guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

The traveler either maintains her cane in the Vertical Position or positions it as in the Standard method.

The traveler and the guide climb the stairs.

Descending Stairs: Cane in the vertical position

The guide and traveler approach the stairs perpendicularly.

Using the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique, the guide and traveler walk up to the first step.

The traveler either maintains her cane in the vertical position or positions it as in the Standard method.

The traveler and the guide walk down the stairs using the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique.

Upon reaching the landing, the traveler and guide resume travel.

1839 Frankfort Avenue P.O. Box 6085 
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085 
Phone: 502-895-2405 
Toll Free: 800-223-1839 
Fax: 502-899-2274 
Email: info@aph.org 
Website: www.aph.org

Step-By-Step 
Review Guide 
Human Guide Techniques
 
Catalog Number 
8-75980-00

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