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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

Traveling at Night: It’s a Cinderella Story

August 15, 2019 | Leave a Comment

by Rachael Eschbach, COMS

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Scene of the Chicago River at light


Do you turn into a pumpkin if you are not home by a certain time? For Cinderella, midnight was her unforgiving curfew.  But for many people with vision loss, it’s around dusk.

Many adults with partial vision express that they have more challenges when it becomes dark outside. Although they may travel freely and confidently during the day, that freedom might be limited to daylight hours.

Some people may also have concerns for traveling at night that are not necessarily related to vision loss. Perhaps they live in an area with higher crime rates and traveling after dark could increase the risk of being attacked. I am not dismissing these realistic circumstances. Safety should always be your first priority. Asking yourself what the primary reason is for turning down that night out with your friend could help you decide what to do. Is it fear of crime? Or, is it because you are nervous about safely getting to and from the restaurant to meet your friend?


Addressing the Fear Factors

If you feel comfortable navigating in the dark, but have a fear of how to protect yourself against an attacker, you might want to consider 1 Touch™ Self-Defense training. This is a certified program designed especially for people with vision loss. The movements taught in this course not only help you protect you in a dangerous situation, they can also benefit your existing orientation and mobility skills by strengthening your spatial orientation and tactile sensitivity. Second Sense is offering a 12-week 1Touch training class beginning Thursday, September   12, 2019.

If fear of being attacked is not the issue, but rather the fear of missing drop-offs, tripping over obstacles or becoming disoriented in the dark, then some additional orientation and mobility training may be what you need.


Two Parts to Orientation and Mobility

Orientation and Mobility training can be divided into two parts:

  • Orientation is all about knowing where you are, where you are going and how are you going to get there.
  • Mobility is about safely traveling that route you have planned. It is about getting from point A to point B using skills and tools to help you do so successfully.

Orientation and Mobility training addresses both of these aspects of travel. You can learn to travel in a variety of environments:

  • navigating indoor spaces, like your home or office building, to navigating outdoors, like crossing streets and avoiding obstacles,
  • walking through residential neighborhoods to walking down busy city streets, and
  • traveling during the day to traveling at night.

You can also learn to use different modes of transportation.

If you want to feel more confident traveling at night, please give us a call at Second Sense. We can customize lessons around your particular needs and goals. You’ll find a new sense of confidence when you have the skills and tools to navigate safely!


Rachael is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist

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