The 5 point travel system is an important set of orientation and mobility skills for people who are blind and visually impaired to become independent travelers. For an introduction to the 5 point travel system, you can check out my Introduction blog post here.
Why are Hallway/Street Names Important for Orientation & Mobility?
Now we come to the 3rd point of the 5 point travel system which is to use hallway or street names for orientation purposes. This point is probably the easiest of the 5 points to learn and master but that does not make it any less important. To truly become an independent traveler it is important to know where a person is in their environment to avoid becoming disoriented. A great way to do this is by creating hallway names or using street names as a way of confirming and remembering one’s location. Another bonus is if a person needs to ask for directions or gets disoriented it is much easier if the names are known.
For example, if a person is traveling within a large office building there are most likely a lot of different hallways and intersections that can become disorienting pretty quickly. Since most hallways are not named the person can create a name based on a key characteristic or landmark of the hallway. For example, the hallway with the drinking fountain can be called the “drinking fountain hallway.” Having names for hallways makes navigation much easier and helps to confirm to a person their location.
The same principle can be used in many outdoor environments by using the street names. Street names can be learned by either asking someone the different street names or by using one of the many GPS apps available for smartphones to determine the street names.
Learning to use hallway or street names is a valuable tool that all travelers who desire to be truly independent should strive to learn and put into practice.
Thank you for reading. I hope this article was helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.