sighted guide technique provides the visually impaired person
with a basic travel method using the physical assistance
of a sighted person. The visually impaired person learns
to interpret the elbow movements of the guide walking with
blind person always holds the sighted guide's arm (not
vice-versa). The guide puts out her hand or arm to make
contact. The blind person then takes her arm just above
the elbow. This leaves the guide's hands free (for carrying,
opening doors, etc.). With four fingers on the inside,
and the thumb on the outside of the elbow, the blind person
feels the motion of the guide's body.
By flexing his elbow to about 90 degrees,
the blind person stays a half-step behind the guide. This
allows time to interpret and react to the guide's movements.
To minimize his body width and to avoid moving beyond
the protection of the guide, the blind person's flexed
arm remains close to his body, with his shoulder lined
up directly behind the guide's opposite shoulder.
guide alerts the blind person that they are about to
go up or down stairs. The guide approaches stairs squarely
and pauses at the foot or head. The blind person may
or may not wish to switch to the side with the handrail.
The blind person brings his foot forward to locate the
first step. The guide takes the first step and both
proceed. As a cue that they have reached the bottom
or top, the guide pauses again at the end.
The process of pausing at tops and
bottoms of stairways can be used effectively with street
curbs as well.
there is not enough space for the blind person and
guide to walk in the usual position, (e.g. narrow
aisles, doorways, etc.), the narrow passage technique
is used. The guide signals a change in position by
moving her arm back and to the centre of her back.
The blind person then steps behind the guide so the
two are in single file.
To prevent stepping on the guide's
heels, the blind person straightens his arm, thus
placing him a full step behind. After leaving the
narrow passage, the guide signals by moving her arm
back to the side and normal position is resumed.
for Deaf-Blind persons
people who are deaf have balance problems. therefore
it is important to determine if physical supports are
needed. It is best to ask the person needing your help
how you can help them - each person has different preferences.
Originally published by:
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Public Affairs Ontario Division
1929 Bayview Avenue