Introduction to Sighted Guide
Sighted guide is a technique that has been developed to guide blind people or those with little vision who are in unfamiliar surroundings. It is important to note that not all blind or partially sighted people want or need sighted guide so always remember to ask first if assistance is needed.
How children and young people learn sighted guide technique
Children and young people with vision impairment need to develop skills to help them understand their surroundings, move safely and be as independent as possible.
Habilitation specialists deliver mobility, orientation and independent living skills training to children and young people with vision impairment. This training helps the child or young person move as independently and safely as possible by using sound, touch and other sensory information. Some of the Habilitation skills that children learn include:
- Body protection skill
- Environmental awareness
- Echolation (which are termed as pre-cane skills)
- Sighted guide
- Cane skills.
These are delivered when age and stage appropriate for the child or young person.
When is sighted guide useful to a blind child or young person?
The child or young person benefits from guided assistance from a sighted person when it is not appropriate for them to travel independently. Sighted guide techniques can be useful when the child or young person is travelling through unfamiliar or complex environments. When offering sighted guide assistance to a child or young person with vision impairment it is important that the guide understands the techniques in order to keep the child or young person safe.
Children and young people with vision impairment benefit from being actively involved in their travel and encouragement to listen to the sounds in the environment and gathering other sensory information. This helps them to understand the environment around them and develop skills that will help them travel as independently as possible.
Watch our short video How to Use Sighted Guide.
Get more guidance with Step Up.