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Clinic provides training for volunteers to become sighted guides

Posted at 9:45 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 22:22:32-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — More than a dozen volunteers are learning how to become sighted guides for those who are visually impaired or blind.

The volunteers work one-on-one to build trust with their partner, and learn the logistics and techniques of running and walking with a sighted guide.

The clinic is put on through a partnership between Mary Free Bed and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The clinic lasts three weeks and combines both classroom time and real-world practice around the trail at Mary Free Bed.

Those who are blind or visually impaired say the support can be a big help.

"So many blind and visually impaired people don’t have a place to walk to, don’t have any ambition or desire to walk too because they don’t have a partner or friend or their spouse that they can work with," said Casey Dutmer, who was born without sight. "So I really believe this is an important event for this community, for health reasons, for getting them into better shape physically and emotionally."

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