The Story of Sophie

Being blind, Sophie's sons used to have to do absolutely everything for her. This included walking her to the outside toilet, opening the door for her, putting the latch on the door for her, waiting for her outside the door, and then walking her back to the door of their house. The two young men had to always plan between them, so that one of them could be home with their mother. You will be glad to hear that this is no longer the case.

Part of our practitioner’s training of the blind family member, is to include the family members in the training. This is, so that they can support and encourage their blind member’s independence. In Sophie’s case, her two sons were ready to help their mom’s growing independence.

Between Sophie’s house and the outside toilet is a big open swept yard. This was simply too far for her to orientate herself and find her way on her own to the toilet and back to the house, without getting lost. To help Sophie, Thabelo asked her sons to put up a few stakes: the first one close to the house, another one midway to the toilet and a last one at the toilet. Thabelo then put up a string from the stake at the door of the house, along the second stake, all the way to the toilet door. This picture shows how Sophie follows the string back to her house with her hand.

Sophie speaks of her regaining her dignity through independence training. Thank you Gareth for the role you have played in all the “Sophies” we have trained, and in them all regaining their dignity.

Published with permission from SA Mobility for the Blind Trust