Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can supply participants with mobility aids that enable or improve independent travel. Importantly, our O&M specialists also provide participants with thorough training in the use of each mobility aid.
Long canes are designed to physically detect obstacles as well as changes in height of the ground in front of the individual.
Long canes can be solid, folding, or telescopic with the latter two canes being easy to slip into a handbag or backpack when not in use. Long canes are also light, inexpensive and have a range of replaceable cane tips for travelling over different surfaces.
Identification canes (also called ID canes) are smaller than long canes and their white and red colours let other people know that the person holding the cane has reduced vision. Identification canes can be useful in difficult situations such as negotiating crowds or crossing roads.
Support canes can be useful for people who experience problems with their balance when walking. Our support canes are adjustable in length to ensure that each participant gets the perfect fit. Just like our long canes and identification canes, our support canes also have a white and red coating that lets others know that the user has difficulty with their vision. This can be particularly beneficial when using public transport, shopping or when walking in crowds. Even better, our white and red coating is reflective which makes the user more visible – and safer - when travelling in low light conditions.
Our Guide Dogs are trained to enhance the mobility of participants by avoiding obstacles and stopping at steps, kerbs and other important changes in the surface of the path ahead.
Guide Dogs can be trained to locate objects such as seats, traffic light poles, doors and shop counters. Guide Dogs can also be trained to assist participants to get to the destinations that they use regularly such as school, work, shops and community venues.
Participants can apply to receive NDIS funding for the ongoing costs associated with owning a Guide Dog such as food, vet bills and pet insurance.
Miniguides are handheld electronic devices that detect objects in the environment using sound waves. Designed to be used with a long cane or Guide Dog, Miniguides are great for detecting objects such as poles, seats or obstacles at head height. Miniguides can even be used to find doorways or gaps between buildings.
Trekker Breeze GPS
The Trekker Breeze is a handheld GPS device specifically designed for people who are blind or vision impaired. The device speaks the names of streets, intersections and other important places in the environment while the user is travelling on foot or in a vehicle. The Trekker Breeze can also provide the user with information about shops and services that are nearby with the press of a button.
GPS on the iPhone
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can offer participants short term loans of Apple iPhones while they learn to use navigation Apps such as our industry leading GPS App. Our O&M specialists also provide assessments and training so that participants get the right device, software and have the skills required to use them well. Download the free iPhone app from the iTunes store
If you would like further information about any of these mobility aids, or would like to request an appointment with one of our O&M specialists, we are keen to hear from you. Please call us on 1800 484 333.