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INTRODUCTION

Special Techniques

Introduction

This review guide is a supplement to the Step-By-Step series on orientation & mobility. Designed for use both 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, Special 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.

EXPLORATION

Search Patterns

Perimeter & Gridline

Holding one hand at a reference point, the traveler traces the perimeter of the area to be searched with her other hand.

Or, she can use both hands to trace the perimeter in a symmetrical motion, beginning and ending at a focal point.

The traveler places both hands at a reference point.

Keeping one hand flat on the surface, she moves it lightly to the opposite side of the area.

Upon reaching the opposite side, she moves over one hand width and returns, searching the adjacent area.

The traveler repeats this motion across the entire area (both horizontally and vertically) until she locates the object(s) for which she is searching.


If the traveler prefers, she can perform this technique bilaterally.

Circle

The traveler begins with her hands at midline, near her body, and flat on the surface to be searched.

The traveler moves her hand(s) in concentric circles of increasing size, covering the area in front of her, between her feet, and to her sides.

- She can either keep one hand at the reference point while searching to one side of midline with her other hand and then switch hands to search the opposite side, or she can use both hands and search both sides simultaneously.

Fan

The traveler begins with her hands at midline, near her body, and flat on the surface to be searched.

The traveler moves her hand(s) in fan motions of increasing size and distance from her body, covering the area in front of her, between her feet, and to her sides.

- The traveler can keep one hand at the reference point while searching with her other hand to one side of midline and then switch hands to search the opposite side.

Or, she can use both hands to search both sides simultaneously.

Search With a Cane

The traveler places her cane at midline and flat on the surface to be searched. The grip is near her body and the tip points away.

She slides the cane left and right over the area to be searched.

Or, holding the top of the grip stationary at midline, the traveler pivots the cane in an arc, covering the area in front of her and to the sides.

Dropped Objects

Standard

Immediately after dropping an object, the traveler stops and listens for the sound that the object makes as it lands. The traveler faces toward that sound.

If the object sounds as if it has landed a distance from her, the traveler walks up to a point immediately in front of the object’s location.

Using the UPPER HAND & FOREARM (Modified) technique, the traveler squats or kneels down in front of the object.

The traveler locates the object using the SEARCH PATTERNS technique. She should search in front of her and to the sides.

- If the traveler fails to find the object, she moves forward using the UPPER HAND & FOREARM (Modified) technique and then begins to search a new area.

The traveler uses the UPPER HAND & FOREARM (Modified) technique as she stands up if she is in an unfamiliar area or if the object might have rolled under a table.

Contacting and Exploring Objects

Standard

The traveler anchors the cane tip (or shaft) against the object.

The traveler walks up to the object, bringing the cane into a vertical or semi-vertical position.

She slides her hand down to a comfortable position below the grip and either

- wraps all of her fingers around the shaft and points her thumb downward, then rotates her entire arm inward until the back of her hand faces her trunk; or

- holds the cane with a pencil grasp.

The traveler can slide the cane shaft left and right along the front of the object to determine the object’s width.

The traveler can anchor the cane shaft on the front of the object and then gently push the top of the cane forward past vertical to determine the object’s height.

The traveler explores the object using systematic SEARCH PATTERNS.

- If the traveler bends forward to touch the object, she should use the UPPER HAND & FOREARM (Modified) technique.

Seating

In a Chair

The traveler locates the chair.

Using the UPPER HAND & FOREARM (Modified) technique, the traveler leans down and then “clears” the back and seat of the chair.

The traveler places the backs of both legs against the chair. She then sits down.

At a Table

To Sit

The traveler locates the chair.

The traveler holds her cane vertically at the edge of the table and pulls the chair out from the table with her free hand.

The traveler leans down and “clears” the back and seat of the chair.

The traveler places the backs of both legs against the front of the chair and sits down.

The traveler positions her cane using the CANE PLACEMENT technique.

To Rise

The traveler slides her chair away from the table. She bends down to pick up her cane.

Holding her cane vertically at the edge of the table, the traveler stands up and pushes the chair under the table with her free hand.

Seating with a Guide

The guide leads the traveler to a position close to the chair and informs her of the chair’s presence and its location.

The traveler “clears” the back and seat of the chair, if desired.

The traveler places the backs of both legs against the chair and then sits down.

Auditorium: Guide Leading

To locate seats

The guide and traveler stop alongside their desired row.

- If necessary, the guide instructs the traveler to transfer sides.

The guide uses an “arm pull” to bring the traveler up beside him.

The guide and traveler sidestep into the row until they are standing directly in front of their seats.

- The traveler can lightly trail the backs of the seats in the forward row with the back of her free hand.

The guide breaks contact with the traveler.

The traveler clears her seat.

Placing the backs of her legs against the seat, the traveler sits down.

To exit row

The guide and traveler stand up. The guide crosses in front of the traveler.

The guide and traveler assume the HUMAN GUIDE position.

The guide and traveler sidestep out of the row to the main aisle.

Auditorium: Traveler Leading

To locate seats

The traveler and guide stop alongside their desired row.

The traveler leads as they enter the row and uses her cane to locate empty seats.

- If the traveler wishes, she may lightly trail the backs of the seats in the forward row with the back of her free hand.

The traveler “clears” her seat.

Placing the backs of her legs against the seat, the traveler sits down.

To exit row

The traveler uses her cane to clear the way as she and the guide step to the main aisle.

UNSOLICITED ASSISTANCE

Accepting and Declining Assistance When Not Carrying a Cane

Standard

Upon feeling someone grasp her arm, the traveler stands firm.

The traveler raises her grasped arm forward across her body, toward her opposite shoulder.

She grasps the person’s wrist from below and pulls downward to release his grasp.

To decline assistance

The traveler thanks the person for offering assistance and states that she does not need assistance.

To accept assistance

The traveler thanks the person for offering assistance and states her preference to hold his arm.

Declining Assistance: Rotating the Trunk

Upon feeling someone grasp her arm or shoulder, the traveler stands firm.

The traveler rotates her trunk away from the person.

She thanks the person for offering assistance and states that she does not need assistance.

Accepting and Declining Assistance When Carrying a Cane

If the Non-Cane Arm is Grasped

Upon feeling someone grasp her arm, the traveler stands firm.

The traveler positions the cane vertically. She raises her grasped arm forward across her body toward her opposite shoulder.

Grasping the person’s wrist from below, the traveler pulls downward gently to release the person’s grasp.

To decline assistance

The traveler releases the person’s wrist and states that she does not need assistance.

To accept assistance

The traveler thanks the person for offering assistance and states her preference to hold his arm.

The traveler then grasps the person’s arm and assumes the CARRYING A CANE WHEN WALKING WITH A GUIDE position.

If the Cane Arm is Grasped

Upon feeling someone grasp her arm, the traveler stands firm.

The traveler positions the cane vertically and transfers the cane to her other hand. She raises her grasped arm forward across her body, toward her opposite shoulder.

Grasping the person’s wrist from below, the traveler pulls downward to release the person’s grasp.

To decline assistance

The traveler releases the person’s wrist and states that she does not need assistance.

To accept assistance

The traveler thanks the person for offering assistance and states her preference to hold his arm.

The traveler then grasps the person’s arm and assumes the CARRYING A CANE WHEN WALKING WITH A GUIDE position.

Declining Assistance: Not Transferring the Cane

Upon feeling someone grasp her arm, the traveler stands firm.

The traveler positions the cane vertically. She raises her grasped arm forward across her body and grasps the person’s wrist from below.

Pulling downward gently, the traveler releases the person’s grasp and states that she does not need assistance.

Declining Assistance: Rotating the Trunk

Upon feeling someone grasp her arm or shoulder the traveler stands firm.

The traveler rotates her trunk away from the person.

The traveler thanks the person for offering assistance but states that she does not need assistance.

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 
Special Techniques
 
Catalog Number 
8-75980-00

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