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."