The second section of my Hadley “Going Places,” review really gave me some strong emotions. Feelings of sadness, anger, jealousy, among other emotions surfaced because in the second section we talked about how our family and friends feel about the effects of us not being able to drive.
Let me give you an example, last year, I had a really bad tooth ache, and my grandpa had to take me to an emergency dental appointment. If my grandpa would have not been able to take me then I would have either continued to be in pain or I would have had to take a taxi which can be expensive. I am thankful that I was able to go and he was able to take me; however, on the other hand, he had to drop his plans. He could have been doing other things instead of taking me. He helps me because he cares for me. I was able to say thank you for taking me by doing a little extra around the house. This is a good example of what the course called balancing and bartering. Not only did this case speak of balancing and bartering but this example shows how it allows others, including myself, to talk about the impact of your inability to drive.
Another example I can give, was from 2015, when I had a part-time job. I had to use the paratransit to get to work. The paratransit is usually very late picking me up. While waiting for my ride that day, my eyes began to fill with tears; I felt embarrassed because I knew I would be getting to work late, and I worried about getting fired. My grandpa felt frustrated with the situation. I wanted to be a good employee, and I knew I needed to be on time. That day we both vented about how it would be better if the van was on time and if I had the same driver every day. I learned in the course that it is important to communicate your feelings with family and friends. It is also important to be fair and to give back to those who help you. One thing that bothers me is how some of my family does not understand how wide-spread my city is. It takes me an hour or more, using paratransit, to get somewhere. When they suggest walking somewhere, they do not realize that walking is a limited option for me.
The section continued to talk about how to explain to family members and friends about what you can see, how well you can see, and how it can impact your life. This caused me to have strong emotions. One thing that bothers me is some of my family refuses to learn and understand how bad my vision is. Sometimes I wish I could give them a mock situation of what my vision is like. One thing that I learned from my best friend is. At the end of the day, they get to have their sight back. I do not. Having a visual impairment is challenging, but it is manageable when you have the right tools in place to succeed. I wear glasses, and I have had independent living training, and this has helped me feel confident. Despite this some of my family still refuses to understand. I believe in trying and not giving up. One thing the course recommended, that I am already doing, is to exchange goods for rides. When my friend takes me out shopping, I usually buy her lunch. The course has taught me other things about being fair and having a “transportation tool kit”
The third section was on how to deal with community interactions. This section helped me in many ways. It taught me how to have a basic statement so others can understand my visual impairment and what I can see. It also explained about how to talk about accommodations. Like being sure the driver knows to come to the door when they arrive. Sitting close by the driver helps me feel at ease. I like to look out the window when I am traveling. I feel better when I can see where I am going.
The next section was on relocating, and once again I felt strong feelings. Personally, relocating is something I can not do right now. However, I can see the advantages of being close by things such as shops, a pet grooming salon, and gas stations etc. Maybe one day this will be an option for me. Another thing that was covered was reasonable adjustments. For me this means online shopping. 😊 It helped reinforce the fact that online, catalog, and TV shopping can be helpful. The more independent I can be the better.
The next section was safety. For me, personally this section talked about a lot of things I already knew. Such as having a backup plan in case your ride forgets you, to carry a separate wallet for your fare money, and carry a cell phone. However, there was two things I had never thought of before. The first thing was to carry a whistle with you. This makes sense in case you need to get someone’s attention. The second thing I learned was to carry a camping chair with you in case you have to sit and wait for a while. The course also talked about having an emergency plan. Have extra cash on you for a cab, extra charging cords, etc.
The last section was on how to plan a budget which you would only use for traveling. I felt like this section was helpful because it offered a simple example of what a budget could look like. Since I have never fully planned out a budget just for travel, I decided to start using one. This section pointed out the highs and lows of not being able to drive, and the importance of having reliable transportation. I know that once I start living on my own transportation will be costly. The course offered a tip that we should use around 75 percent of our budget on travel.
In the next blog post I will be talking about walking and biking.