"Guide Dogs has helped me attack daily life head on, and has given me a real sense of independence."
Shirley, a 66-year-old Belrose resident, lost her peripheral vision as the result of a stroke several years ago. She has been receiving assistance from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT since 2006.
Late last year Shirley was out shopping, when an escalator she was on suddenly shuddered, broke-down and stopped working. She recalls how she felt at the time, "When you are blind this sort of thing can be really scary, as you don't know what is happening."
Rather than avoid using escalators altogether, Shirley decided that it was time to once again seek help from Guide Dogs to help her overcome her fears. She is now working on an agreed training program with her instructor Elaine.
Shirley's orientation and mobility program includes training on how to use a support cane; and learning how to use escalators safely. A support cane provides stability for people with low vision when they are walking. It is also used to check the height of stairs.