Human Guide Techniques
A human guide is a sighted person who acts as a travel aid for someone who is blind or visually impaired. Virtually all non-visual travelers use a human guide at some time, either as a primary travel aid or a supplement to a guide dog, cane or an electronic mobility device, such as a Trekker.
Basic Human Guide Method
- Guide asks traveler if he/she needs assistance and then uses the back of his/her hand to make contact with the back of traveler’s hand.
- Traveler moves his/her hand up guide’s arm just above guide’s elbow.
- Guide moves his/her arm toward the small of his/her back.
- Traveler extends arm (to avoid stepping on guide’s heels) and moves directly
- After narrow passage has passed, guide returns his/her arm to the original position.
- Guide verbally indicates the need to turn in the opposite direction. (Guide comes to a complete stop.)
- Traveler releases his/her grip.
- Guide and traveler turn 180 degrees.
- Guide reestablishes contact with the back of the hand and the traveler resumes the original position.
- Guide or traveler indicates the need to transfer sides.
- Traveler trails guide’s back with his/her free hand and establishes the original position on the opposite side.
- Guide indicates on which side and in which direction the door opens. (Traveler needs to be on the hinge side of the door, so it may be necessary to transfer sides.)
- When the guide opens the door, the traveler assumes a forearm protective position.
- Traveler will make contact with the door and push it further open.
- Traveler will release the door and resume the original position.
Stairs and Curbs
- Guide approaches the step perpendicularly.
- Guide pauses at the first step and the traveler moves alongside the guide.
- Guide takes the first step and traveler follows at the guide’s pace,
one step behind.
- Guide pauses at the end of the stairs, indicating one more step, and then resumes the original position and pace.
- Guide brings the traveler close to the seat.
- Guide explains the location of the seat in relation to the traveler.