Driving with an Intervenor, do’s and don’ts

Hi there everyone!

I am fine thank you! I got my COVID-19 vaccination last week, I’m doing great now. I was, for the first little bit, more tired than usual; eyes would become strained easily and just physically exhausted. I have been informed that that is normal, because how the vaccine works. I’m not a scientist, so I won’t try to explain.

Hey, so, you do what an intervenor is, right?

Just to review, An intervenor is a professional who provides both visual and auditory information to a person who is Deaf-Blind. That is the key distinction… they provide that information to the Deaf-Blind person in the way they prefer, ASL, tactile signing, pro-tactile, speech, etc…

Usually, the Deaf-Blind person will plan either an outing or an activity with the intervenor. Maybe go buy groceries or go to a park or go trying out a new bakery or an old restaurant. You can read a successful intervenor story here: Intervenor success. I’ve also used an intervenor to sell my old LPs, and trade my old comics.

As you can see, I try to use the intervenor OUTSIDE of my home; to get out and try new things is the best use for an intervenor. Why should I stay at home when I have an intervenor?!

As you can see, I use intervenor, and their car, to go places!

Which leads me to this blog: a list of Dos and Don’ts about driver and passenger safety.

Disclaimer: these are solely my observations and what I do when I’m with an intervenor in their car. Other Deaf-Blind persons are encouraged to, but not expected to, follow my suggestions. To each their own; each Deaf-Blind person should decide for themselves how to act within an intervenor’s vehicle.

Here is my list of dos and don’ts for Deaf-Blind persons…

Do… limit chatting; I usually wait for red lights to talk about important things.

Don’t… chat on highways, or busy areas, construction zones, and NEVER when turning a corner!

Do… I like to watch the road while I am signing, that way I can be aware of upcoming obstacles; road work for example, then I stop chatting.

Don’t… comment on the mess in the car, it is not your car, so shut it!

Do… thank the intervenor when the shift is done, always! You rode in their car, you invaded their space, the least you can do is thank them. Even if they did a lousy job, which happened frequently in Toronto.

Don’t… make a mess, and if you do, make sure you clean up!

Do… tell them where you want to go, but…

Don’t… tell them how to get there! That is not your choice. Let them take you in a unique way that you’ve never gone before!

There could be, and probably are, a few more Dos and Don’ts that a Deaf-Blind passenger should or should not do, I am interested to hear what YOU have to say… please let me know your thoughts!

Now, intervenors, the driver, here are some Dos and Don’ts. Again, these are my observations and are good practices to follow, but I am not a Cop…

Do… drive as you normally would…

Don’t… be afraid to tell the Deaf-Blind person to “Stop, I’m driving!” especially on the highway or in busy areas…

Do… allow the Deaf-Blind person to open or close their window, show where the switch is…

Don’t… Road rage at drivers who cut you off… even if that is your personal habit, you are working, so your professional hat comes on.

Do… lead the Deaf-Blind person to the car, putting their hand on door handle or frame, but…

Don’t… help them sit down, and never ever put the seatbelt on! It’s an invasion of personal space. Besides, Deaf-Blind persons know how to work this contraption!

And, most importantly…

Do… pay attention to the hearse ahead! This is a true story that happened in Toronto’s west end! While my intervenor and I were cursing for Pho, I noticed a hearse directly in front of us, I pointed it out to the intervenor… Then we returned to our task of finding the Pho restaurant. While we were both looking left and right, we were not going fast, traffic speed, my intervenor suddenly slammed on his brakes! He came too close to that black Cadillac! “Oh, that was a brush with death,” my intervenor morbidly quipped! The Pho was worth it!

Ahh yes, here is another Do or Don’t that occurred to me: While driving a Deaf-Blind person around: do leave your radio on, don’t turn it off. Do crank the volume up, vibrations are always welcome! Don’t have talk radio on, boring!

Again, I am sure there are many other Dos and Don’ts for intervenors that I am missing. I would be happy to hear yours!

Thank you for reading and have yourself a great day!

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