As I picked up more strategies from my Orientation and Mobility lessons, I practiced reactions to dangerous situations with my instructor. One day, he explained how to avoid a serious problem when waiting to cross a street, waiting on a platform for the train, or when negotiating a flight of stairs.
“When you are by yourself, you are focused and in control,” he said as we stood on the porch in front of the stairs. “But, if you sense some people around you, be aware. If someone pushes you or runs into you and you start pitching forward into traffic or down steps, remember to sit down.”
He demonstrated how to minimize the forward momentum by bending the knees. It encourages sitting down instead of flailing forward.
“Sure, you might end up hitting the ground a bit harder than you’d like,” he said, dusting himself off, “but it’s always safer to sit down instead of falling forward in these circumstances.”
I agreed. When traveling, I sense where other stand around me. I’m aware of how precarious my positioning may be, and I alter my stance as needed. In a worst-case scenario, I can always sit down.