Image of a woman walking outside using a cane and with her guide dog next to her.

Mobility Matters, how parent carers can support their children to navigate the world.

In this resource, the LOOK Parent support group and mentor team explore mobility, teaching our children independence skills and how to support them to explore the world without barriers.

Facilitator: Jane Ring, Parent Support Officer at LOOK

Featuring: Elin Johnson and Sarah Murray, Parent Carers/ Expert Parents and Sania R and Michelle B, LOOK mentors.

In this session, two expert parents and two fantastic LOOK mentors share insights into what we can do to support our VI children’s mobility skills.

The mentors explain how they use their mobility aids (Guide dog, cane and my guide service).

The parents explore how they have worked with their children to support cane use, independence, navigation and environmental awareness. Sharing tips, understanding and knowledge they have gained through their experiences.

Watch

You can watch the original session, here:

Thanks so much for this. As ever, a wealth of information.” Parent.

Top Tips from the panellists

  • Your expectations shape your child’s future.
  • Every child is different and there is no right or wrong way of doing things.
  • Be positive about being out there in the world as a blind person. Have high expectations that this is your child’s world to explore and manage independently.
  • Start teaching independent living skills from a young age.
  • Let your child make mistakes. This is how they learn by self-discovery.
  • Ask for help from Local sight loss organisations such as Guide Dog’s My Sighted Guide service.
  • Finding the right cane for your child is important.
  • Make the cane fun. You can get coloured canes or decorate the cane and even give it a name.
  • There are no magic wands but hearing from other young people who have struggled with what the cane represents in their life should be a good start for those of you with reluctant cane users.

You can access the #LoveMyCane webpage to hear from a variety of LOOK mentors with different eye conditions and levels of sight loss about how they came to terms with their canes.

Resources

To view and download this resource and access links to the websites and presentations referenced in this workshop including Elin Johnson’s presentation on mobility and rules of the road guidance, please click below.

My Cane by Heidi Lyons

My Cane is more than a stick to me, just like your eyes, it helps me see.

I want to travel, find my own way, join in with you all when you play.

I wish to do just the same as you, but sometimes I need extra clues,
I keep my cane tip on the ground and it helps me find my way around.
It feels for changes on the floor and helps me find things like gaps and doors.

It feels for changes on the floor and helps me find things like gaps and doors.

It helps me know when there are steps and stairs and tells me when to take more care.

My Cane’s a detector, a bumper a guide and I feel much safer with it by my side.
It tells me what’s coming up ahead, so bumps and trips I no longer dread.

I want to travel, find my own way, join in with you all when you play. My Cane is more than a stick to me, just like your eyes it helps me see.

For more useful articles, tips and advice, take a look at our Resources pages.

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