Because I don’t know how much is too much to divulge on blogs, I’m going to just put the initial of the name of the person I’m talking about. I’ve seen other bloggers do this and I think it’s a good idea. D, from The Seeing Eye, came out to do a Home Visit yesterday. We had talked for a while on the home a few weeks prior and that helped ease a little anxiety but I was still pretty anxious. It’s not that I was meeting a new person, but it was that he was evaluating me. The Seeing Eye is a little more conservative in their admissions process and they’ve told me they generally like to see someone with partial vision have 20 degrees or less, but that it was judged on a case by case basis. I have 13 degrees in one eye, 19 in the other.. and just as a reminder, 20 degrees and below is considered legally blind. So I wasn’t 10 degrees or less but I am close in one eye. So, he came out and we talked in my living room a little while and then he took me out on a walk. Basically, I did a route by myself from my apartment to campus. It had to include a street crossing and it had to be a normal path for me. Once we were on campus, I asked him how much farther he wanted me to go, and he wanted to see how I negotiated in the cafeteria. So we went inside the cafeteria and he had me do different directions when he called them out and see how I navigated around them with a cane. I did pretty well, I thought. At the end, he said he thinks I will be a good candidate and that he would go back and type up his report. He is the same instructor that also does field visits when guide dog handlers are having issues or need a little assistance with difficult areas or routes. We talked about how my preference would be a black lab, but really I would take whatever they thought was best. But I was pretty set on a lab, even if it wasn’t black. I’ll explain that in a later post.
I got a really good vibe about this school and I liked the instructor. I do have a few concerns, however. It is a month long training and the only time I could fit that into my schedule is May. I am in school year round with 3 weeks off in May. If I did it then, it would be taking my only vacation for the year away AND I’m not sure I really can be away from home that long. It is also in New Jersey which is a different climate entirely than Texas. They also are more strict on how much vision you have and the instructor told me himself stories about sending people away once they got to training because they did have too much vision. I just don’t know..