Connect Series Explores Travel Techniques for Newbies

LightHouse Orientation & Mobility Specialist Katt Jones stands next to UC Berkeley student Tiffany Zhao and her dog guide Helene during our April LightHouse Connect workshop on travel. Tiffany came to the workshop to share her experience as a dog guide user

One of the most important and challenging skills any person who is blind or low vision must embrace is traveling independently. Last month, as part of our ongoing LightHouse Connect workshop series, attendees were treated to a unique opportunity to “travel how you want”. Professionals in the field of Orientation and Mobility, along with several blind and low vision travelers, shared their expertise and experiences along with the conviction that attaining autonomy can be a life-changing journey.

We welcomed a number of folks to the LightHouse for their first experience with blindness travel skills, involving them in a discussion of white canes, dog guides and tools to enhance the travel experience, including GPS solutions. Panelists described what it takes to get a dog guide, including debunking the myth that you can just walk into a dog guide school and walk out with a dog. Orientation and mobility are required skills for any blind person, and just as vital to someone working with a service dog versus a cane.

Other topics covered included the benefits of using a cane: safety, making the public aware of your disability, and independence.

The LightHouse has taught cane travel to students for more than 60 years. If you’re ready to begin your journey, call Debbie Bacon at 415-694-7357 or email her at for more information.

Forester Arthur Peterson discusses the importance of his mobility training since becoming blind five years ago. Arthur is active and uses both a long cane and a Trekker Breeze GPS System to travel confidently and with much more information