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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Text and Materials Development
Sandra Rosen

Project Leaders
Terrie (Mary T.) Terlau
Rosanne Hoffmann

Graphics and Photography
Sandra Rosen
Terri Gilmore
Bisig Impact Group

Production Team
Lila Adkins
Cary Crumpton
Darlene Donhoff
Anna Fox
Frank Hayden
David Hines
Karen Marshall
Lou Tingle
Phyllis Williams

Expert Reviewers
Nora Griffin-Shirley
Julie Hapeman
Donna Brostek Lee
Richard Long
Grace Ambrose Zaken

INTRODUCTION

Many mobility techniques are designed to facilitate travel in very specific situations and environments. For example, there are specific techniques to walk up and down stairs, go through doorways, follow a shoreline, and more. Some environments, however, are quite complex and therefore require the integrated use of techniques from several of the Step-By-Step modules. For example, when walking in an area without sidewalks, the traveler uses a number of techniques including those involved with crossing streets (e.g., mechanics, timing, etc.), those used to negotiate driveways and maintain orientation (e.g., direction taking), and those used to follow a shoreline (i.e., long cane skills). Using escalators and revolving doors or traveling past gas stations represent more examples of special environments that require the integrated use of several mobility techniques presented in the HUMAN GUIDE, NON-CANE, and LONG CANE modules.

ELEVATORS, ESCALATORS & REVOLVING DOORS

ELEVATORS



PURPOSE

To use elevators in public places when using a cane

PREREQUISITE TECHNIQUES

Search Patterns
Shortened Cane

TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS

Begin in a quiet area (if possible) using an elevator that either no or few other pedestrians are using at the time.

Introduce a variety of elevators, including those with the following features:

Lead up to using elevators that have increased pedestrian congestion.

Practice this technique in a variety of environments (e.g., public buildings, shopping centers, bus and train stations).

SKILLS

Standard

The standard method of locating, entering, and exiting an elevator when using a cane

Locating and Calling the Elevator

  1. The traveler locates the elevator by
    • listening for the sounds of the door opening or closing, the hum of the motor, pedestrians entering and exiting, or the bell indicating the arrival of the elevator;
    • trailing the wall to find the indentation of the elevator door.
      • — One way to verify that an indentation is actually that of an elevator door is to feel for the raised floor number located about 5 feet above the ground on the side jambs of the elevator doorway in many buildings (United States Access Board, 2002).
  2. He locates the call button situated to the side of the door, or perhaps between elevator doors in areas where there is more than one elevator. The call button is usually located 42 inches above the ground (United States Access Board, 2002).
    • On the top and bottom floors of a building, there will only be one button.
    • Other floors will have two buttons—the top one to call an elevator going up, the bottom one to call an elevator going down.
    • A keyhole button, operable only by fire and emergency officials, may be present.

      Note: In some very tall buildings, elevators may be designated to stop at specified floors only (e.g., some elevators might serve floors 1-15 while others serve the main floor and then only floors 16-30).
  3. The traveler presses the desired button and steps to the side of the door to leave room for people to exit the elevator when it arrives.
    • Some buttons will depress when pushed; others react to the heat or pressure from a person's hand and will simply light up.
    • The arrival of the elevator is indicated by the sound of the doors opening. In some public buildings, a chime will also ring to indicate arrival of the elevator—one chime for an elevator going up and two chimes for an elevator going down.
    • If the traveler is uncertain whether the elevator is going up or down, he can ask nearby pedestrians, wait for another elevator, or choose to take a chance and board the elevator. If, in the latter situation, the elevator is traveling in the wrong direction, the traveler can simply wait for it to finish its ascent or descent and then press the button for his desired floor.

      Note: If the traveler presses a floor button in an elevator that is traveling in the wrong direction, he will need to press the button again once the elevator begins to travel in the correct direction or the elevator may not stop at his desired floor.

Boarding the Elevator

  1. When boarding the elevator, the traveler first waits for people to exit the elevator before attempting to enter it. He then uses the SHORTENED CANE technique (Constant Contact) to locate the floor of the elevator, remaining aware of the gap immediately in front of the elevator door.
    • Locating the floor before entering the elevator is critical to ensure that the traveler does not inadvertently step into an empty elevator shaft. Once the floor has been located, many travelers will then pull the cane tip back over the threshold momentarily to detect any slight elevation changes that might pose a tripping hazard.
  2. If the elevator door starts to close while he is boarding the elevator, the traveler can use the UPPER HAND & FOREARM (Modified) technique with his non-cane hand to protect his body from being bumped by the closing door. He may also choose to place one arm against the door edge before entering to prevent the door from starting to close as he passes through the doorway.
    • Elevators in most buildings have rubber along the door edges to avoid injuring a person and doors that will automatically retract if they contact something while closing. Elevators in very old buildings may not have these safety features.
  3. Once inside the elevator, the traveler turns and faces the door. He locates the control panel, usually located on the front wall to either one or both sides of the door.
    • There is no standard configuration of buttons on control panels. Some panels have buttons for odd numbered floors in one column and buttons for even numbered floors in another column. The numbered floor buttons on other panels are arranged numerically from top to bottom in one column and continued in a second column. On some panels there may be even more than two columns. Most elevators will have braille and raised letters or raised markings indicating the function of each button.
    • All elevator panels include the following additional features:
      • — A button for opening the door (or holding it open to allow others to enter or exit)
      • — A button for closing the door
      • — An alarm button to press in case of emergency (i.e., the elevator becomes stalled between floors)
      • — An "emergency stop" button that stops the elevator in case of emergency or if it is necessary to keep the elevator door open for an extended period of time (e.g., to load equipment)
      • — A button or keyhole activated only by emergency personnel; this button allows them to override all other buttons and take complete control of the elevator
    • In addition to a control panel, some elevators have a telephone behind a small door near the main control panel. This telephone connects directly to emergency personnel and is for use only in case of an emergency.
  4. Using the SEARCH PATTERNS technique, the traveler can locate and press the button for his desired floor. If there are other people riding the elevator, he may choose to ask another person to press the button for his floor. If the buttons are not well labeled and there are no other passengers, the traveler can push all of the floor buttons and then count the number of floors at which the elevator stops.
  5. The traveler positions himself as close as possible to either the back or a side wall and stands in order to make room for other passengers. He stands facing the front of the elevator as it travels.

Exiting the Elevator

  1. The traveler can identify arrival at his desired floor in several ways.
    • In some modern buildings, elevators will have an electronic voice message indicating the number of the floor at which the elevator has arrived.
    • In many modern buildings, a chime will ring one time for each floor passed. In this way, the traveler is able to count the number of floors to determine when he has arrived at his desired floor.
    • In addition, the traveler can verify that the elevator has arrived at his floor by
      • — holding the elevator door open by pressing on the rubber flap along the edge of the door, and feeling for the braille or raised floor numbers that are located 5 feet above the floor on the doorway jambs outside of the door (see Figure 1.01);

        Figure 1.01
        Raised and braille floor numbers often can be found on the side jambs of the elevator doorway.
      • — re-pushing the button of the current floor while the door is closing; this will immediately reopen the door of some elevators; or
      • — asking a person in the elevator or hallway to verify the floor number.
  2. Upon verifying that the elevator has arrived at his desired floor, the traveler exits the elevator quickly using the SHORTENED CANE technique (Constant Contact).

COMMON ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

Error:
The traveler fails to locate the elevator floor before entering the elevator.

Correction:
Locating the floor before entering the elevator prevents the traveler from inadvertently stepping into an empty elevator shaft should the door open when the elevator has not actually arrived at that floor.

Error:
The traveler fails to use the SHORTENED CANE technique when entering the elevator.

Correction:
Using the SHORTENED CANE technique helps to keep the cane tip from interfering with other passengers.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS

RELATED TECHNIQUES

None



ESCALATORS WITH A GUIDE



PURPOSE

To negotiate escalators when traveling with a guide

PREREQUISITE TECHNIQUES

Narrow Spaces with a Guide*
Stairs with a Guide
Transferring sides**

* Knowing the NARROW SPACES WITH A GUIDE technique will be helpful if it is ever necessary to negotiate escalators that are only wide enough for one person.

** The traveler can use the TRANSFERRING SIDES technique to move to the other side of the guide to be next to the handrail of the escalator.

TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS

Begin in a quiet area (if possible) on an escalator that has either no or few other pedestrians using it at the time. The escalator should ideally have a distinctive metal plate, both at its entrance and its exit.

Notes: Some travelers find learning to negotiate ascending escalators to be less intimidating than learning to negotiate descending escalators. For this reason, it is generally recommended to begin instruction on ascending escalators and then to proceed to descending escalators. In many cases it will be necessary to teach both ascending and descending concurrently in order to be able to return to the bottom of the ascending escalator for additional practice and instruction. If a ramp or elevator is available to return to the lower level it may be an alternative—especially if the instructor feels that the traveler would have difficulty learning the methods to negotiate both ascending and descending escalators concurrently.

Introduce a variety of escalators, including those that vary in length and width.

Lead up to negotiating escalators that have increased pedestrian congestion.

Practice this technique in a variety of environments (e.g., public buildings, schools, theaters, shopping centers, bus and train stations).

SKILLS

Ascending Escalator

The standard method of negotiating an ascending escalator when traveling with a guide

  1. The guide and traveler approach the escalator perpendicularly, stopping at the far edge of the metal plate where it meets the moving steps.
    • Having the traveler stand on the guide's right side positions her to grasp the handrail easily when she and the guide are standing on the right hand side of the escalator. This position also leaves room for other people to pass by them on the left-hand side.
  2. The guide gives an "arm pull" to bring the traveler up beside him.
  3. The traveler reaches for the hand railing, allowing it to slide through her hand.
  4. The guide and the traveler board the escalator holding onto the handrail firmly; the traveler stands one step behind the guide (as in the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique).
    • The traveler can place one foot up on the step ahead and/or reach her hand forward on the handrail to feel when the steps and railing level off, indicating that they are approaching the end of the escalator (see Figure 2.01).

      Figure 2.01
      The traveler places one foot up on the step ahead and/or reaches her hand forward on the handrail to feel when the steps and railing level off.
      • — Some travelers find that placing one foot on the stair ahead widens their base of support and assists in balance. This is an individual choice of the traveler.
    • If the traveler steps on a seam when boarding, she can step up to the next step or back down to the previous step to position herself one step behind the guide.
  5. When the traveler feels the steps level off and the guide's arm lower, she raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the metal plate at the end of the escalator (see Figure 2.02).

    Figure 2.02
    The traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the metal plate at the end of the escalator.
  6. The guide and traveler exit the escalator using the HUMAN GUIDE technique.

Descending Escalator

The standard method of negotiating a descending escalator when traveling with a guide

  1. The guide and traveler approach the escalator, stopping at the edge of the metal plate where it meets the moving steps.
    • Having the traveler stand on the guide's right side positions her to grasp the handrail easily when she and the guide are standing on the right hand side of the escalator. This position also leaves room for other people to pass by them on the left-hand side.
  2. The guide gives an "arm pull" to bring the traveler up beside him.
  3. The traveler reaches for the handrail, allowing it to slide through her hand.
  4. The guide and the traveler board the escalator holding firmly onto the handrail; the traveler stands one step behind the guide (as in the STAIRS WITH A GUIDE technique).
    • To feel when the steps level off (indicating that they are approaching the end of the escalator), the traveler can place one foot slightly over the edge of the step with her toes pointed down (see Figure 2.03).

      Figure 2.03
      The traveler places one foot slightly over the edge of the step with her toes pointed down to feel when the steps level off.
    • If the traveler steps on a seam when boarding, she can step down to the next step or back up to the previous step to position herself one step behind the guide.
  5. When the traveler feels the steps level off and the guide's arm rise, she raises the toes of her forward foot to avoid stubbing them on the metal plate at the end of the escalator (see Figure 2.04).

    Figure 2.04
    The traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the metal plate at the end of the escalator.
  6. The guide and traveler exit the escalator using the HUMAN GUIDE technique.

GENERAL MODIFICATIONS

COMMON ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

Error:
The guide fails to stop and make sure that the traveler's feet are at the edge of the metal plate before stepping onto the escalator.

Correction:
Stopping and ensuring that the traveler's feet are at the edge of the metal plate before stepping onto the escalator enables the traveler to know exactly where the first step is located and to avoid stumbling when she boards the moving escalator.

Error:
The traveler fails to raise the toes of her leading foot when she feels the steps level off.

Correction:
Raising the toes of her leading foot prevents the traveler from stubbing her toes on the edge of the metal plate at the end of the escalator.

Error:
The traveler stands a half step behind the guide (standard HUMAN GUIDE position) when preparing to step onto the escalator.

Correction:
The traveler should stand next to the guide when boarding the escalator. This better enables her to know where the first step is located, to most easily reach the handrail, and to most reliably avoid stumbling when she boards the moving escalator.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS

RELATED TECHNIQUES

Escalators with a Cane and Guide



ESCALATORS WITH A CANE AND GUIDE



PURPOSE

To negotiate escalators when using a cane while traveling with a guide

PREREQUISITE TECHNIQUES

Diagonal (for Descending method only)
Escalators With a Guide
Narrow Spaces With a Cane and Guide*
Stairs With a Cane and Guide
Transferring Sides When Carrying a Cane**

* Knowing the NARROW SPACES WITH A CANE & GUIDE technique will be helpful if it is ever necessary to negotiate a stairway or an escalator that is only wide enough for one person.

** The traveler can use the TRANSFERRING SIDES WHEN CARRYING A CANE technique to move to the other side of the guide to be next to the handrail of the stairway or escalator.

TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS

Begin in a quiet area (if possible) on an escalator that few or no other pedestrians are using at the time. The escalator should ideally have a distinctive plate at both its entrance and its exit.

Notes: Some travelers find learning to negotiate ascending escalators to be less intimidating than learning to negotiate descending escalators. For this reason, it is generally recommended to begin instruction on ascending escalators and then proceed to descending escalators. In many cases it will be necessary to teach both ascending and descending concurrently to be able to return to the bottom of the ascending escalator for additional practice and instruction. If a ramp or elevator is available to return to the lower level it may be an alternative, especially if the instructor feels that the traveler would have difficulty learning the methods to negotiate both ascending and descending escalators concurrently.

Introduce a variety of escalators, including those that vary in length and width.

Lead up to negotiating escalators that have increased pedestrian congestion.

Practice this technique in a variety of environments (e.g., public buildings, schools, theaters, shopping centers, bus and train stations).

SKILLS

Ascending Escalator

The standard method of negotiating an ascending escalator when carrying a cane while traveling with a guide

  1. The guide and traveler approach the escalator perpendicularly; the guide stops at the edge of the metal plate where it meets the moving steps.
    • Having the traveler stand on the guide's right side positions her to grasp the handrail easily when she and the guide are standing on the right-hand side of the escalator. This position also leaves room for other people to pass them on the left-hand side.
  2. The guide uses an "arm pull" to bring the traveler up beside him. The traveler anchors her cane against the edge of the metal plate that is adjacent to the moving steps.
    • If the traveler wishes to hold the handrail, she can place her cane in the hand that is grasping the guide's arm and hold the cane vertically until exiting the escalator (see Figure 3.01).

      Figure 3.01
      If the traveler wishes to hold the handrail, she can place her cane in the hand that is grasping the guide's arm.
  3. The guide and the traveler board the escalator; the traveler stands one step behind the guide.
    • If the traveler steps on a seam when boarding, she can step up to the next step or back down to the previous step to position herself one step behind the guide.
  4. The traveler holds her cane in the STAIRWAYS WITH A CANE AND GUIDE (Ascending) position with the cane tip resting on the tread of the forward step. The traveler will feel the cane move "downward" when the steps level off at the end of the escalator. She will also feel the guide's arm lower as the steps level off.
    • Some travelers also find that placing one foot on the stair ahead further enables them to feel when the steps level off. Doing so also widens their base of support and assists in balance. This is an individual choice of the traveler.
  5. When the escalator steps level off, the traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the metal plate at the end of the escalator.
  6. The guide and traveler exit the escalator and then resume the CARRYING A CANE WHEN WALKING WITH A GUIDE technique.

Descending Escalator

The standard method of negotiating a descending escalator when carrying a cane while traveling with a guide

  1. The traveler follows steps 1-2 of the method "Ascending Escalator."
  2. The guide and the traveler board the escalator; the traveler stands one step behind the guide.
    • If the traveler steps on a seam when boarding, she steps down to the next step or back up to the previous step to position herself one step behind the guide.
  3. The traveler holds her cane in the STAIRWAYS WITH A CANE AND GUIDE (Descending) position with either her cane tip resting on the tread or her cane shaft resting on the nosing one to two steps ahead.
    • The traveler will feel the cane move "upward" when the steps level off at the end of the escalator. To feel when the steps level off better, the traveler can also place the toes of one foot over the edge of the step (with her toes pointed down). She will also feel the guide's arm rise as the steps level off.
    • If the traveler wishes to hold the handrail, she can place her cane in the hand that is grasping the guide's arm and hold the cane vertically until exiting the escalator (see Figure 3.02).

      Figure 3.02
      If the traveler wishes to hold the handrail, she can place her cane in the hand that is grasping the guide's arm.
  4. When the escalator steps level off, the traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the metal plate at the end of the escalator.
  5. The guide and traveler exit the escalator and then resume the CARRYING A CANE WHEN WALKING WITH A GUIDE technique.

GENERAL MODIFICATIONS

COMMON ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

Most of the errors commonly seen when travelers are learning this technique are the same as those often seen when learning the "Escalators with a Guide" and the "Escalators with a Cane" techniques. Selected errors are listed here for the reader's convenience.

Error:
The guide fails to stop and make sure that the traveler's feet are at the edge of the metal plate before stepping onto the escalator.

Correction:
Stopping and ensuring that the traveler's feet are at the edge of the metal plate before stepping onto the escalator enables the traveler to know exactly where the first step is located and to avoid stumbling when she boards the moving escalator.

Error:
The traveler fails to raise the toes of her leading foot when she feels the steps level off.

Correction:
Raising the toes of her leading foot prevents the traveler from stubbing her toes on the edge of the metal plate at the end of the escalator.

Error:
The traveler holds the cane with the tip raised rather than resting the tip on the steps below while negotiating a descending escalator.

Correction:
Holding her cane with the tip or shaft resting on a step (or the nosing of a step) below ensures that the cane will not poke a pedestrian below, and assists the traveler to feel when the steps level off and to detect the metal plate.

Error:
The traveler holds the cane with the tip in front of the guide's body rather than maintaining it in front of her own body while negotiating the escalator.

Correction:
Maintaining the cane with the tip in front of her own body ensures that it will not trip the guide when he exits the escalator.

Error:
The traveler stands on the same step of the escalator as the guide.

Correction:
Standing one step behind the guide provides the traveler with the needed time to react to the leveling of the steps and the guide's forward movement as they begin to exit the escalator. Without sufficient time to react, some travelers might stumble on the metal plate as they exit.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS

RELATED TECHNIQUES

Escalators With a Cane*

* Prior experience with the ESCALATORS WITH A CANE & GUIDE technique may lessen the initial anxiety that some travelers feel when negotiating escalators with a cane and without a guide.



ESCALATORS WITH A CANE



PURPOSE

To negotiate escalators when using a cane

PREREQUISITE TECHNIQUES

Diagonal
Escalators With a Cane & Guide***
Shortened Cane
Stairs With a cane**
Touch (Constant Contact)*
Touch & Slide*

* Either the TOUCH (Constant Contact) or the TOUCH & SLIDE technique can be used to locate the metal plate in front of the escalator.

** Knowing the STAIRS WITH A CANE technique may assist in learning how to position the cane on the steps when riding up or down escalators and how to "clear" with the cane when exiting.

*** Prior experience negotiating stairs using the ESCALATORS WITH A CANE & GUIDE technique may lessen the initial anxiety that some travelers feel when negotiating escalators without a guide.

TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS

Begin in a quiet area (if possible) on an escalator that either no or few other pedestrians are using at the time. The escalator should ideally have a distinctive metal plate at both its entrance and exit.

Notes: Some travelers find learning to negotiate ascending escalators to be less intimidating than learning to negotiate descending escalators. For this reason, it is generally recommended to begin instruction on ascending escalators and then proceed to descending escalators. In many cases it will be necessary to teach both ascending and descending escalators concurrently in order to be able to return to the bottom of the ascending escalator for additional practice and instruction. If a ramp or elevator is available to return to the lower level it may be an alternative, especially if the instructor feels that the traveler would have difficulty learning the methods to negotiate both ascending and descending escalators concurrently.

Progress to negotiating unfamiliar ascending and descending escalators with little or no pedestrian traffic next.

Introduce a variety of escalators, including those that

Lead up to negotiating escalators that have increased pedestrian congestion.

Practice this technique in a variety of environments (e.g., public buildings, shopping centers, bus and train stations).

SKILLS

Ascending Escalator

The standard method of negotiating an ascending escalator when using a cane

  1. Using the TOUCH Technique (Constant Contact) or the TOUCH & SLIDE technique, the traveler locates the metal plate in front of the escalator.
  2. Unless the traveler knows for certain that she has found the plate at the entrance of the escalator, she should move to the right side of the plate out of the path of traffic to find the handrail. The traveler then identifies whether she is at the entrance or exit of the escalator by listening to pedestrian sounds and/or finding the handrail and noting the direction in which it is moving.
    • Approaching the escalator from the side, or moving to the side if approaching from the front, allows the traveler to feel the handrail and to identify the direction of the escalator without interfering with the flow of pedestrian traffic.
    • If the handrail is moving away from the traveler, it is the entrance to the escalator; if the handrail is moving toward the traveler, it is the exit of the escalator.
    • If the sound of the moving stairs is at head height, then the escalator is either going to or coming from the floor above; if the sound is below the traveler, then the escalator is either going to or coming from the floor below (Jacobson, 1993).
  3. Upon verifying that she has located the entrance (and not the exit) to the escalator, the traveler moves forward on the metal plate staying on the right hand side of the escalator. Using the TOUCH technique (Constant Contact) or the TOUCH & SLIDE technique, she locates the edge of the plate where it meets the moving steps.
    • Standing on the right hand side of the escalator leaves room for other people to pass by the traveler.
  4. "Anchoring" her cane against the edge of the metal plate that borders the moving steps, the traveler walks up to her cane (see Figure 4.01). She positions her feet perpendicular to the edge of the metal plate.

    Figure 4.01
    The traveler anchors her cane against the edge of the metal plate that borders the moving steps.
  5. The traveler extends her cane forward and rests it on the moving stairs to identify whether she has arrived at an ascending or descending escalator.
    • If the cane tip lowers and then suddenly lifts upward (in a repeating cycle), she is at a descending escalator.
    • If the cane tip moves upward and then drops down (in a repeating cycle), she is at an ascending escalator.
  6. After verifying that she is at an ascending escalator, the traveler places the cane in her left hand and reaches for the railing on her right side, letting the railing slide through her grasp.
    • If she grasps the railing too tightly, she may by pulled forward before she is ready to board the escalator.
  7. Grasping the handrail firmly, the traveler steps onto the escalator.
    • If the traveler steps on a seam when boarding, she can step up to the next step or back down to the previous step.
    • Standing on the right side of the escalator leaves room for other people to pass on the left-hand side.
  8. The traveler holds her cane in the STAIRS WITH A CANE (Ascending) position with the cane tip resting on the tread of the stair located one step ahead of her.
    • The traveler will feel the cane move "downward" when the steps level off at the end of escalator. To feel more precisely when the steps level off, the traveler can also place one foot up on the step ahead, and/or reach her hand forward on the railing (see Figure 4.02).

      Figure 4.02
      To feel when the steps level off, the traveler can place one foot up on the step ahead, and reach her hand forward on the railing.
      • — Some travelers also find that placing one foot on the stair ahead further enables them to feel when the steps level off. Doing so also widens their base of support and assists in balance. This is an individual choice of the traveler.
  9. The traveler identifies that she is approaching the exit of the escalator using auditory information (e.g., the flow of pedestrians exiting the escalator in front of her, auditory information from the floor area at the end of the escalator) or proprioceptive information (e.g., when the steps and railing level off).
  10. When the steps level off, the traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the plate at the end of the escalator (see Figure 4.03).

    Figure 4.03
    The traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the plate at the end of the escalator.
  11. When her cane tip contacts the metal plate, the traveler clears with her cane and steps off the escalator. She then moves away quickly using the SHORTENED CANE technique.
    • It is important for the traveler to exit the escalator and move away from it quickly so that she does not impede the flow of pedestrians exiting behind her. If the traveler needs to adjust her grasp on the cane or switch it to her other hand, she should only do so after she has moved out of the way of other exiting pedestrians.

Descending Escalator

The standard method of negotiating a descending escalator when using a cane

  1. The traveler follows steps 1-5 of the method "Ascending Escalator."
  2. After verifying that she is at a descending escalator, the traveler places the cane in her left hand and reaches for the railing on her right side, letting the railing slide through her grasp.
    • If she grasps the railing too tightly, she may be pulled forward before she is ready to board the escalator.
  3. Grasping the handrail firmly, the traveler steps onto the escalator.
    • If the traveler steps on a seam when boarding, she can step down to the next step or back up to the previous step.
    • Standing on the right side of the escalator leaves room for other people to pass her on the left-hand side.
  4. The traveler holds her cane in the STAIRS WITH A CANE (Descending) position with the cane tip resting on the tread of the stair located one step ahead of her.
    • The traveler will feel the cane move "upward" when the steps level off at the end of the escalator. To feel more precisely when the steps level off, the traveler can also place the toes of one foot over the edge of the step with her toes pointed down (see Figure 4.04).

      Figure 4.04
      The traveler can place the toes of one foot over the edge of the step to feel when the steps level off.
  5. The traveler identifies that she is approaching the exit of the escalator using auditory information (e.g., the flow of pedestrians exiting the escalator in front of her, auditory information from the floor area at the end of the escalator) or proprioceptive information (e.g., when the steps level off).
  6. When the steps level off, the traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the plate at the end of the escalator (see Figure 4.05).

    Figure 4.05
    The traveler raises the toes of her leading foot to avoid stubbing them on the plate at the end of the escalator.
  7. When the traveler's cane tip contacts the metal plate, she clears with her cane and steps off the escalator. She then moves away quickly.
    • It is important for the traveler to exit the escalator and move away from it quickly so that she does not impede the flow of pedestrians exiting behind her. If the traveler needs to adjust her grasp on the cane or switch it to her other hand, she should only do so after she has moved out of the way of other exiting pedestrians.

GENERAL MODIFICATIONS

COMMON ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

Error:
The traveler stops when her cane contacts the metal plate and listens to pedestrian traffic to determine the direction (entrance or exit) of the escalator.

Correction:
Feeling the handrail is the most efficient way to verify the direction of the escalator without obstructing the movement of other pedestrians. The sounds of pedestrian traffic can be used to provide further confirmation.

Error:
The traveler fails to place her cane tip on the step above when negotiating an ascending escalator.

Correction:
Placing her cane tip on the step above enables the traveler to feel when the steps level off and then to locate the metal plate.

Error:
The traveler slides one foot forward to verify the location of the edge of the metal plate that borders the steps.

Correction:
The traveler should use the TOUCH & SLIDE or TOUCH (Constant Contact) technique to the edge of the metal plate at the steps. Sliding a foot over the edge of the plate (and thereby contacting the moving steps) may cause the traveler to lose her balance.

Error:
The traveler holds her cane with the tip resting on the same step as her feet when negotiating a descending escalator.

Correction:
Holding her cane with the tip or shaft resting 1-2 steps ahead enables the traveler to feel when the steps level off and to detect the metal plate.

Error:
The traveler fails to raise the toes of her leading foot when she feels the steps level off.

Correction:
Raising the toes of her leading foot enables her to avoid stubbing her toes on the edge of the metal plate at the end of the escalator.

Error:
The traveler stops on the metal plate immediately after exiting the escalator to adjust the position of her cane or to switch it to her other hand.

Correction:
Taking two to three steps off the plate before stopping to reposition her cane allows room for people to exit the escalator behind the traveler. Some travelers may even choose to reposition their cane on the move after stepping off the metal plate.

Error:
The traveler fails to hold onto the handrail while boarding or exiting an escalator.

Correction:
Holding onto the handrail is always recommended. It provides support for balance when transitioning between the metal plates and the steps. It also provides support in case the escalator stops unexpectedly or another pedestrian bumps the traveler.

Error:
When negotiating a descending escalator, the traveler holds her cane with the tip hovering 1-2 inches above the steps below rather than resting the tip on them.

Correction:
Holding her cane with the tip or shaft resting on the steps below enables the traveler to feel when the steps level off and to detect the metal plate most efficiently.

Error:
The traveler fails to clear with her cane as she steps onto the metal plate when exiting the escalator.

Correction:
Clearing with her cane ensures that the traveler will not trip on an object that has been dropped at the exit of the escalator.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS

RELATED TECHNIQUES

None



REVOLVING DOORS



PURPOSE

To negotiate revolving doors when using a cane

PREREQUISITE TECHNIQUES

Doors With a Cane*
Shortened Cane (Diagonal)
Touch
Upper Hand & Forearm

* Knowing the DOORS WITH A CANE technique may help the traveler learn to "clear" with his cane before exiting a revolving door.

TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS

Begin in a quiet building entrance that is free from a lot of pedestrian traffic. If possible, choose a building with more than one revolving door to minimize contact with other pedestrians. Doors that are wide enough to fit two people enable the guide and traveler to negotiate the door together during the early stages of learning.

Progress to doors that have sections that are large enough to accommodate just one person. Initially allow the traveler to practice timing his entrance into an open section by having the instructor manually control the speed of movement of the door.

Later introduce the traveler to doors that revolve automatically.

Lead up to negotiating revolving doors at entrances where other people are using the revolving door at the same time. Pedestrians are usually more patient at hotels than at airports, banks, or department stores.

Practice this technique in a variety of environments during the course of instruction.

SKILLS

Standard

The standard method of negotiating revolving doors when using a cane

  1. The traveler approaches the revolving door from the right side, in contact with the shell (see Figure 5.01).

    Figure 5.01
    The traveler approaches the revolving door from the right side, in contact with the shell.
    • Approach the door from the right side; most revolving doors turn counter-clockwise and pedestrians enter from the right side and exit from the left side.

    The traveler holds the cane in his right hand and uses the SHORTENED CANE (Diagonal) technique as he approaches the opening of the revolving door. Holding his left arm in the UPPER HAND & FOREARM position, the traveler trails the outside of the shell to the opening using his fingertips. If the door is moving, the traveler may also locate the opening by using the sound of the rubber flaps along the door edges as they contact the shell.
    • If the door is moving, the traveler may also locate the edge of the shell by noting the sound of the rubber flaps along the door edges as they contact the shell.
  2. Upon reaching the opening, the traveler listens to determine if the door is manually or automatically controlled.
    • If automatically controlled, the traveler takes one more step and slowly moves his left arm to contact the rubber flaps of the revolving door.

    The traveler contacts the revolving door lightly with his fingertips (see Figure 5.02). This allows the traveler to detect the rubber flaps on the edges of the doors to locate an opening into which he can step. If the door is moving, this contact also enables the traveler to determine the speed at which the door is moving by feeling the speed at which the rubber flaps brush across his fingertips.

    Figure 5.02
    The traveler contacts the revolving door with the fingertips of his left hand.
    • If the door is manually controlled, the traveler listens for the door to stop moving. When he is ready to enter, he does not take one step forward but simply turns his body toward the door opening and enters the cylinder. If the traveler finds the edge of a door, he adjusts accordingly.
      • — As a caution, a manually controlled door can start revolving at any time. It is important that the traveler be alert to prevent snagging of his cane or hand by the revolving door.
  3. The traveler positions his cane vertically or semi-vertically, makes a sharp right turn and quickly enters the compartment.
    • If the door is already moving, he should use the sound of the rubber flaps contacting the shell and/or the feel of the rubber flaps as they brush against his fingers to time his entrance into the shell.
    • It is important to enter quickly to avoid both pedestrian congestion and interference with the rhythm of an automatic door.
    • If the panels of the revolving door are not in motion, the traveler slides his left hand down the door to locate the push bar and presses on it to move the door forward.
    • If the door is already moving, the traveler should not press on the push bar unless the door stops mid-shell. This is because the door may be one that is powered automatically, and some automatic doors can lock in place if pressure is applied to the moving door. Automatic doors are often found in busy places such as airports.
  4. The traveler identifies the exit of the revolving door using auditory, tactile, or other sensory clues. Some travelers choose to hold the top of the grip (or crook of the cane) in contact with the inside wall of the shell or to trail the shell with their right elbow to locate the opening.
  5. When the traveler reaches the exit opening, he simultaneously clears with his cane and exits the compartment quickly, taking two to three steps away from the door toward the right and using the appropriate cane technique.
    • Due to the need to move away from the door quickly, there is generally not enough time to clear before stepping out of the revolving door. For this reason, the traveler clears and steps out of the door simultaneously.
    • Moving away from the door and to the right allows room for pedestrians behind him to exit the door.

GENERAL MODIFICATIONS

COMMON ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

Error:
The traveler approaches the revolving door from the left side.

Correction:
Because revolving doors rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, approaching the revolving door from the right side prevents the traveler's cane from tripping people as they exit the doorway. The traveler's cane may not be readily visible to people exiting the doorway, but can be seen more easily by people entering the doorway.

Error:
The traveler trails the wall up to the door with his right arm.

Correction:
Trailing the wall with the fingers of his left hand (arm in UPPER HAND & FOREARM position) enables the traveler to locate the opening and to feel the rubber door edges without risk of catching his hand in the door.

Error:
The traveler uses the DIAGONAL TRAILING technique to approach the door.

Correction:
Using the DIAGONAL technique to approach the door provides some forward coverage without risk of catching the cane tip in the moving door.

Error:
The traveler holds the cane in his left hand and performs the UPPER HAND & FOREARM technique with his right hand.

Correction:
Holding the cane in his right hand and performing the UPPER HAND & FOREARM technique with his left hand positions the cane so that the tip cannot catch in the revolving door.

Error:
The traveler fails to clear as he exits the revolving door.

Correction:
Clearing as he exits the revolving door enables the traveler to detect obstacles (e.g., dropped objects) in his immediate path.

Error:
The traveler stops immediately after exiting the revolving door and readjusts his cane from the SHORTENED CANE position to the fully extended position before walking away from the door.

Correction:
The traveler should step to the right side immediately after exiting the revolving door. This allows him to stop if he wishes (to readjust his cane, for orientation, etc.) and still allows pedestrian traffic passing through the revolving door to continue unimpeded.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS

RELATED TECHNIQUES

None

SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTS

AREAS WITHOUT SIDEWALKS



PURPOSE

To travel in areas which have no sidewalks and/or curbs including rural areas, parks, and some residential neighborhoods

PREREQUISITE TECHNIQUES

Direction Taking
Recovery From Veer
Touch & Drag
Unsignalized Intersections
Vehicles in the Travel Path

TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS

Begin by following a shoreline on a quiet, familiar, paved road that has straight, easily distinguished borders between the street and the property line (e.g., a curb).

Progress to following a shoreline on a quiet, familiar, paved road that has irregular borders and/or where the border between the street and the property line is less easily distinguished (e.g., dirt).

Progress next to following shorelines on less familiar roads and those that are not paved.

Introduce the traveler to street crossing techniques, first in areas where the corners are easily detectable (e.g., relatively square or tightly rounded—see Figure 6.01a), and later in areas where they might be harder to detect (e.g., gently rounded—see Figure 6.01b).

Figure 6.01a
Corners that are relatively square or tightly rounded are most easily detected.
 
Figure 6.01b
Corners that are gently rounded may be more difficult for some travelers to detect.

Lead up to following the shoreline on roads with progressively greater amounts of traffic.

SKILLS

Following a Shoreline

This is the standard method used to walk safely in areas without sidewalks. It positions the traveler at a safe distance from traffic, facilitates easy identification of corners and intersecting paths, and assists in maintaining orientation when necessary.

  1. Walking on the road edge, the traveler follows the shoreline using the TOUCH & DRAG, OR TOUCH (Constant Contact) technique. Some travelers may choose to use the TOUCH TRAILING technique, although if the shoreline is not elevated, the other techniques make it easier to follow the shoreline without inadvertently stepping on it. The traveler should stay close to the shoreline and be prepared to step onto the property side of the shoreline should a vehicle on the street approach too closely.
    • Walking on the property side of the shoreline may increase the traveler's safety because she will be farther from traffic, however, it may not be possible in all terrains (e.g., ditch or bushes along the shoreline).
    • If possible, the traveler should walk facing the near lane oncoming traffic so that drivers will see her cane more readily and she can more easily hear approaching near lane vehicles.

Moving Around Parked Vehicles

To move around parked vehicles, the traveler uses the VEHICLES IN THE TRAVEL PATH technique, ensuring that there is a break in traffic before moving around the vehicle.

Crossing a Break in the Shoreline

A method to efficiently and safely cross an opening (e.g., intersecting path or driveway) when following a shoreline in areas without sidewalks

The traveler uses the TRAVERSING OPEN SPACES technique to cross a break in the shoreline such as a driveway or intersecting walkway.

Crossing a Street

A method of safely positioning oneself to cross a street in the absence of distinct curbs and corners

Identifying Arrival at an Intersection

The traveler uses the following information to determine that she has arrived at an intersection:

Crossing the Perpendicular Street

  1. Upon identifying the corner, the traveler continues to walk around it until she reaches the straight portion of the shoreline of the perpendicular street.
    • The traveler should stop as soon as she feels that the shoreline is no longer curving away from her. Following the shoreline too far from the parallel street before crossing might place the traveler at a sufficient distance from the intersection that drivers might not be expecting to encounter, or be prepared to brake for, a pedestrian.
  2. The traveler "squares-off" with the shoreline and crosses the street using the appropriate procedures (see Street Crossing Techniques Module).
  3. Upon reaching the opposite shoreline, the traveler turns toward the parallel street and follows the shoreline around the corner. The traveler then continues to move along the parallel street.

Modification.

If the traveler chooses, she can begin her crossing at the point at which she feels the shoreline begins to curve away from her rather than following it completely around the corner. She does this by maintaining her original line of travel, then projecting and following a straight line across the street (Jacobson, 1993; LaGrow & Weessies, 1994). Doing so may make the crossing more efficient, but it also makes the crossing longer and it is easier to veer toward the parallel street. This modification is used generally by only experienced and skillful travelers and is never recommended in unfamiliar areas.

Crossing the Parallel Street

  1. Upon identifying the corner, the traveler reverses her direction and retraces her steps until she reaches the straight portion of the shoreline of the parallel street.
  2. The traveler squares off with the shoreline and crosses the street using the appropriate STREET CROSSINGS procedures.
  3. Upon reaching the opposite shoreline, the traveler turns and resumes travel in her desired direction along the parallel street.

GENERAL MODIFICATIONS

COMMON ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

Error:
The traveler does not return to the shoreline after she fails to locate it with two cane contacts.

Correction:
Returning to the shoreline after failing to locate it with two cane contacts helps the traveler to avoid veering into the street.

Error:
When walking around the corner at an intersection, the traveler fails to continue until the shoreline straightens before she aligns to cross the street.

Correction:
Walking completely around the corner until the shoreline straightens before aligning to cross the street helps to prevent the traveler from veering into the parallel street.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS

RELATED TECHNIQUES

None



GAS STATIONS



PURPOSE

To travel past a gas station without veering into it and to recover from an unintended entry into a gas station

PREREQUISITE TECHNIQUES

Alignment (for Monitoring Traffic method only)
Direction Taking*
Sidewalk Recovery (for Recovery from Veer method only)
Touch & Drag (for Following the Expansion Joint and Following the Curb methods only)
Traversing Open Spaces**

* When recovering from an inadvertent veer into a gas station, the traveler can use the DIRECTION TAKING technique to establish a perpendicular alignment from objects most likely to be encountered (e.g., gas pump island, wall of a building). Doing so will generally position her to follow the shortest route back to the public sidewalk.

** When recovering from an inadvertent veer into a gas station, the traveler can use the TRAVERSING OPEN SPACES technique (Squaring-off method) to cross the open area of the gas station and return to the public sidewalk.

TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS

Begin at a quiet gas station during closed hours or when it is not likely to be busy.

Progress to negotiating gas stations when more traffic is present.

Opportunities to practice this technique often occur naturally in the course of traveling in business areas.

SKILLS

Passing the Station by Monitoring Traffic

This is one of the most efficient methods of avoiding an unintentional veer into a gas station. It does not rely on detecting the seam between the gas station and the sidewalk that can sometimes be difficult to feel with the cane. This method also allows the traveler to maintain a greater distance from traffic on the street while walking past the gas station than is afforded by the method, "Passing the Station by Following the Curb."

The traveler maintains a straight line of travel past the gas station by keeping a parallel alignment to traffic on the parallel street.

Passing the Station by Following the Expansion Joint

This is one of the simplest methods to avoid an unintentional veer into a gas station, especially when there are insufficient traffic sounds to assist in maintaining a line of travel. It works best when there is an easily discernable difference between the surface of the gas station asphalt and the surface of the sidewalk concrete. It also allows the traveler to walk past the gas station while maintaining a greater distance from traffic on the street.

The traveler maintains a straight line of travel past the gas station by using the TOUCH & DRAG or TOUCH technique (Constant Contact) to follow the seam that separates the concrete surface of the sidewalk from the asphalt surface of the gas station.

Passing the Station by Following the Curb

This is one of the surest methods to avoid an unintentional veer into a gas station when the seam between the sidewalk and the asphalt of the gas station cannot be detected easily with the cane. This method is also easily used when there are insufficient traffic sounds to assist in maintaining a line of travel.

The traveler maintains a straight line of travel past the gas station by using the TOUCH & DRAG technique to follow the curb of the parallel street.

Recovery From Veer

When, despite the traveler's best efforts, she does veer into a gas station, this method provides a direct approach to return to the sidewalk quickly and efficiently. It is important to minimize the time a traveler spends on gas station property where she can potentially encounter vehicles that are either moving or refueling.

Upon identifying a veer, the traveler turns toward the parallel street (and hence the parallel sidewalk) and walks directly toward it.

Modifications.

Upon detecting the curb, sidewalk, or a driveway crossing the sidewalk, the traveler realigns and resumes travel.

COMMON ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

Error:
Upon identifying a veer into a gas station, the traveler turns around and attempts to retrace her path back to the sidewalk.

Correction:
The traveler should turn and walk toward the parallel street. Retracing one's path will not only cause the traveler to take longer to get out of the gas station, but can also make it more difficult for some travelers to maintain their orientation.

Error:
The traveler fails to use one of the proper methods to avoid veering when passing a known gas station.

Correction:
Using proper techniques to pass a gas station (i.e., following the curb, following the seam line, monitoring traffic) will help the traveler to walk past the gas station without veering into an area where she can potentially encounter either moving or stationary vehicles.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS

Unique geographic features

Unique Sensory Features

RELATED TECHNIQUES

None

REFERENCES

Barlow, J., Bentzen, B.L., Franck, L. (2010). Environmental accessibility for students with vision loss. In W. Wiener, R. Welsch, & B. Blasch (Eds.), Foundations of orientation and mobility (3rd ed., vol. I, pp. 324-385). New York: AFB Press.

Jacobson, W. (1993). The art and science of teaching orientation and mobility to persons with visual impairments. New York: American Foundation for the Blind.

LaGrow, S. & Weessies, M. (1994). Orientation & mobility: Techniques for independence. New Zealand: The Dunmore Press Limited.

United States Access Board. (2002). ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG). Retrieved from http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/#4.10



American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
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

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