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Uploaded on Feb 29, 2012
Many, many years ago, when I was a senior in high school and still had some usable vision, I did not use a cane for mobility. I chose this non cane status for a couple of reasons. First, I did not want to draw attention to myself. Second, I did not know about Orientation and Mobility training that was offered through the League.
As for the first reason, how much anonymity does a person have when you keep running into other people and tripping over unseen obstacles? My high school was fairly large with about 1800 students, so of course my knowledge of the entire student body and their experience with me was limited. Several times, after physical collisions, I was asked the question, "What's the matter, are you blind or something?" In hind sight, not wanting to draw attention to myself by carrying a long white cane seems to be a bit of faulty reasoning. Then, my second reason of not knowing about the League and how they could help me was cut short when I began planning for college. Vocational Rehabilitation soon entered the picture and they referred me to the League so I could learn cane travel skills.
I chose to attend St Francis College, which was small and welcoming; however, this campus had a travel challenge. Lovely Mirror Lake is positioned smack dab in the middle of campus, separating the classroom buildings from the dining hall and the dorms. It is necessary to cross over the causeway to navigate around campus.
Now, I am a very good swimmer, but I am also realistic. After all how many times will a professor accept the excuse that my homework is at the bottom of the lake? This excuse is right up there with the dog that ate my homework assignment.