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Ask The Coach
March 2022

Original Release: 3/1/2022

Under the words Ask The Coach are icons representing Expert, Consulting, Knowledge, Team, Advice, Trust and Research.

How many times do we find ourselves either stuck or stymied, overwhelmed or overcome because of vision loss?

Or how many times do we find ourselves in a quandary or sinking in quick sand because of our sight loss?

No matter if we use the term blind or vision impaired or low vision to describe our circumstance, the fact remains that we often need varying degrees of help, assistance, mentoring, or advice to help us cope.

My name is Donna Jodhan and I am using my extensive experience as a sight loss coach as well as my lived experience to share and respond to questions that are submitted to me and I also invite you to share your thoughts on questions asked.

Question #1 of 3:

A question from Hans in Stockholm Sweden: Hans would like to know what techniques could be recommended for finding obstacles on the sidewalk.

Response #1 of 3:

Hans, there are so many ways for blind/vision impaired persons to use when attempting to discover obstacles on a sidewalk. It all depends on whether you are thinking of a sidewalk during the spring, summer, fall, or winter.

Each time of the year would mean using different techniques. For example, techniques used in the winter may not be suitable to be used in the summer.

What all seasons have in common is that when we walk, if we believe that for any reason there is going to be any type of obstacle on the sidewalk in front of us then we need to walk with extreme caution and care and walk slowly. For those with guide dogs, it would probably be a bit easier as the service dog is trained to discover obstacles and to guide their owners around said obstacle. However, for those who use canes, there are a variety of techniques to be deployed. It starts in being able to understand how to use the arc technique to help discover obstacles.

Finding obstacles in the snow may probably be more difficult and then we need to think of those obstacles that are overhanging such as tree branches and wires and as a result they would not be detectable on the ground.

Finally, walking closest to the edge of the sidewalk closest to the street or closest to the grass is probably not a reliable way to base a safe technique.

Question #2 of 3:

A question from Edith in Charlotte NC: Edith is seeking ways to ensure that her hair looks good; especially after a hair cut.

Response #2 of 3:

Edith, I have the same old problem. I am able to use my fingers to see if my hair, bangs, at the back and sides are even. However, I need to depend on sighted assistance to help me know if it looks good or not.

If you have a hairdresser that you trust implicitly, then not a problem but if you want to make sure that your hair looks good after a visit to your hairdresser, then it is probably best to take someone you trust with you to the hairdresser and ask them to make sure that your hair looks good.

Question #3 of 3:

A question from Cory in Dublin Ireland: Cory wants to know if there are some says ways to detect if water is clean or not.

Response #3 of 3:

Cory, a very interesting question and I think that it starts when you need to ensure that the water that you are about to drink, cook with, or even to use to have a shower or bath is clean.

For me, I would first smell the water and very often if it is dirty it would emit a foul smell. Next, I would probably stick my finger either under the tap of running water and make sure that I am not feeling any sediments.

I may also take a cup and fill it with some of the water and taste it. If the water is not good you would soon find out. Of course there are several other ways.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Tell us what you think! Share your feedback and let's get more ideas cracking! It's important for us to share how we do things!

To contact me with a question or a thought; please send an email to me at ✉ and I'll be sure to respond inside of 5 business days at the most. If you need me to respond earlier then put the word important in your subject line and I'll do my very best to respond more quickly.

Until the next time then!

I'm Donna wishing you a pleasant day and thanking everyone for their insightful feedback and suggestions!

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