Finley has had a cane since she was 4. She still doesn't use it on a consistent basis, but on occasion. She has orientation and movement (O+M) (cane training) once a week for an hour with a spectacular O+M. She has taught Finley so much for far. Not only does she teach her technique, she takes her on walks outside of the school, talks to her about safety, and how to use what she has to get around. (hearing, monocle, etc). She also is responsible in making sure the entire school is as safe as it can be for Finley to get around. She is a huge part of the team.
When you think about having a blind/vision impaired child in a regular classroom, there are a lot of things you wouldn't consider. All doors have to be marked with bright tape so if they are left open, she can tell that and doesn't run into them. All wires and carpets have to be taped down. All chairs have to be pushed in (can you imagine how hard this one is for 7 year olds?) Lots of clutter in a room has to disappear and the teacher can't rearrange the classroom a ton of times a year. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what changes the classroom teacher had to do to have Finley in class (and she took it in stride).
This is where organization is key. A teacher cannot be unmotivated to keep the classroom clean and orderly. While it wasn't the sole reason Finley's teacher was chosen this year, it was a big one. Safety ranks pretty far up there when it comes to educating a blind child.
So, the other day, I had Finley demonstrate her cane skills. Just a couple short seconds a video so you can see what she learned.
First video is Finley coming down our outside steps. Steps are hard for her, especially if she is unfamiliar, or moving to fast.
The video after this one is her coming up the stairs.