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Ski Tree PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 19 September 2011 13:14

Huffman went with a small group of blind individuals along with his wife, Sherry; his daughter, Kim; and son Keith in the late 70’s to a ski resort in Vermont.  Each blind skier had a trained skier that would ski down the mountain at the same time with the blind skier in order to give directions and guidance to the blind skier.  Huffman’s guide was a pretty young female who was an excellent skier.  While flying down the mountain at 60 mph, the guide was attempting to tell Huffman where to turn and what direction to turn.  Instead of saying left or right, she said over here.  Since Vietnam, Huffman’s hearing wasn’t that great and one ear worked better than the other.  It was difficult to tell what direction “over here” was coming from.  Huffman felt a pine tree just about to hit him in the chest; his reflexes and ability to do Judo falls took him backwards.  He slid right underneath the tree without getting hurt.  Huffman and the guide learned together that left and right meant a lot more to a blind person than “over here”.   There are exceptions.  Many times when sighted people give directions they look at their own hands, and left and right become opposite.  When Huffman first became blind, he quickly learned to consider whether or not the sighted person is looking at his own hands when giving those directions.  

Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2011 13:18