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Community Sighted Guide training. Sighted guiding is a recognised technique used as a way of helping blind or partially sighted people get around safely. My Guide sighted guide training programme. My Guide sighted guide training. Developed in partnership.

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community sighted guide training
Community SightedGuide training
  • Sighted guiding is a recognised technique used as
  • a way of helping blind or partially sighted people
  • get around safely.

My Guide sighted guide training programme

my guide sighted guide training
My Guide sighted guide training

Developed in partnership

  • The My Guide training programme has been developed by Guide Dogs, in collaboration with its partners. However, the delivery of the training is the responsibility of the trainer or organisation providing the training.
course objectives
Course objectives
  • To understand and be aware of the benefits of sighted guiding
  • To learn how to give safe community sighted guiding and develop practical skills
  • To learn about sight loss and understand the emotional and practical consequences and barriers to independence
  • Introduction and welcome
  • Awareness of visual impairment
  • Exercise
  • Feedback
  • Sighted guide techniques
  • Practise
  • Feedback
  • Next steps
  • Close
what is a community sighted guide
What is a Community Sighted Guide?
  • Trained to act as eyes/vision with confidence
  • In public as part of normal daily life

‘A sighted person giving appropriate assistance to a

blind or partially sighted person to help them

negotiate the environment safely, whilst maintaining

dignity and promoting independence’.

guidelines to help the course run smoothly
Guidelines to help the course run smoothly
  • Mobile phones off or on silent please
  • We all agree for only one person to speak at a time
  • Relax!
  • Say what you think
  • Be respectful at all times
barriers to independence
Barriers to independence
  • Can’t drive
  • How would I do my job?
  • Going to new places
  • Unable to apply make-up
  • How would I look after my children?
  • How would I feel about cooking?
  • People are anxious about approaching me
  • I used to be chatty but lack of eye contact
  • changes that
  • How would I use the internet?
  • Change in job situation may mean I have less money
emotional consequences of sight loss
Emotional consequencesof sight loss
  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Feeling cut off from friends and family
  • Low confidence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor self-image
  • Loneliness
  • Changed relationships if family are also carers
  • The world becomes smaller
  • Higher levels of anxiety
  • Important!
  • We do not want you to feel scared or worried
  • You do not have to pretend to completely understand being visually impaired
  • If at any point you feel too uncomfortable to continue, please tell your partner and stop
how did it feel
We can use our experience to

Make us better guides

Understand what’s most important when being guided

Practise in a safe, friendly environment

Feel what it’s like to be guided well

How did it feel?
tips for sighted guides
Tips for sighted guides
  • How to guide a blind or partially sighted person
approaching someone and setting off
Approaching someone and setting off
  • Introduce yourself and offer help
  • Ask where the person wants to go
  • Stand by their side and let them hold your arm above the elbow
  • You start walking and they will follow about half a step behind
  • If they have a guide dog, approach from the opposite side
in a narrow space or busy area
In a narrow space or busy area
  • Walk in single file
  • Straighten your arm and move it to the middle of your back
  • The person will step in behind you
  • Slow your pace a little
crossing a road
Crossing a road
  • Say if the kerb is a step up or step down
  • Pause before you take the step so that the person can get ready
  • Describe to the person where they are
going up or down stairs or steps
Going up or down stairs or steps
  • Say if the steps go up or down
  • The person’s free hand should be on the side of the handrail
  • Going up – pause for the person to find the bottom step then move off. They will follow one step below you
  • Going down – let them find the handrail and first step down before moving off. They will follow one step behind
  • Say when you have reached the top or the bottom and pause
getting through doorways
Getting through doorways
  • Say whether the door opens towards or away from you and to the left or the right
  • Open the door with your guiding arm
  • As you walk through, the person you’re guiding should hold it open before following you through
taking a seat
Taking a seat
  • Describe the type of seat, whether it has arms, and if there’s a table in front
  • Put your guiding hand on the back of the chair, and allow the person to slide their arm down to find it
  • In a row of seats, side step along the row until the person is in front of their seat with the backs of their knees touching it. They will then sit down
getting into a car
Getting into a car
  • Say if the car is facing left or right
  • Open the car door and place your guiding hand on it – the person you’re guiding can slide their hand down your arm to hold the door
  • Then place your guiding hand on the top of the door frame – the person you’re guiding will slide their other hand down your arm and get into the car
leaving or finishing assistance
Leaving or finishing assistance
  • Always check with the person you’re guiding that they know where they are before you leave
  • Tell the person clearly that you will be leaving them now
  • Leave them in a safe place, away from danger
being person centred
Being person centred
  • These tips are best practice for sighted guides
  • Always use these techniques as a starting point, but be prepared to alter them depending on the particular requirements of the person you support
  • As long as you and the person you guide are safe, it is ok to vary these tips
safety t ips things to consider
Safety tipsThings to consider:
  • The person may have a medical condition
  • Try to avoid unfamiliar or unknown surroundings that could cause either of you to feel uncomfortable, threatened or concerned
  • Be aware of other people coming into contact with either of you, causing a collision or being aggressive or violent
  • Make sure you’re aware of what to do in the event of a fire, incident or other emergency situation
safety t ips further things to consider
Safety tipsFurther things to consider:
  • Avoid lifting or restraining the person so you don’t get hurt
  • Look out for objects/people to avoid tripping or slipping
  • Think about the weather conditions e.g. ice, snow, extreme heat, and how this could affect your journey
how to guide a person with a guide dog
How to guide a person with a guide dog
  • A guide dog owner will show they need help by laying the handle of the harness on the dog’s back
  • Approach from the opposite side to the dog
  • Talk to the person, not the dog
  • Never take the lead or harness handle
  • Guide the person as you would anyone else
  • Use your guiding hand on the handle of the door to the toilet
  • The person you are guiding will slide their hand down your arm to find the door handle
  • Agree with the person whether you will wait for them outside or if you are leaving
getting on or off a bus or train
Getting on or off a bus or train
  • Tell the person you are guiding how high any steps are and if there is a gap between the train and the platform
  • Guide the person as you step on or off, walking in front
  • Walk down aisles in single file
well done
Well done

To achieve a Level 1 certificate with distinction or to

move on to Level 2 you will need to complete

assessed observed practice:

  • One hour’s sighted guiding with two different blind or partially sighted people
  • Thirty minutes with each person, one will feed back as part of your assessment
  • During the hour you will be assessed for thirty minutes by your trainer
next s teps other modules and roles
Next steps – other modules and roles
  • My Guide volunteer
  • Complete Levels 1 and 2 learning, assessment and practice
  • Provide a My Guide service for an agreed period to enhance the service user’s independence, through getting out and about
  • My Guide Practitioner
  • Complete Levels 1, 2 and 3 learning, assessment and practice
  • Provide training and support to Community Sighted Guides and My Guide volunteers
before you go
Before you go...
  • If you are progressing to Level 2, make sure you inform the trainer
  • You can view the techniques video and find more information on sighted guiding on our website or take a free DVD or leaflet
  • Don’t forget your handouts
  • Thank you for coming!