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If you haven’t seen it already, Pick of the Litter is a cute, educational film.  A documentary that follows from birth through formal training at matching a litter of future guide dog puppies from Guide Dogs for the Blind out in California.  Last weekend, Tom, hubby and I attended a showing of it hosted by our regional Guide Dog Users group.  (it is playing at select locations around the country but can also be found on iTunes and I think Netflix)

At the showing, they had the film set up to play with Audio Description.  I knew audio description was a thing, but never thought it would be a help to me.  Oh how wrong I’ve been.  I had no idea how much of movies and TV I’ve been missing!  It was enlightening.  Last night we figured out how to turn on Audio Description on our TV.  I have to say I am disappointed how few shows have an audio described track, but the couple that did again WOW!  had no idea how much goes on on the screen.

Sometimes I forget how well we humans have a capacity to normalize.  I mean I experienced it all the time when I was working with clients.  I lost count the number of cases over the years where dogs had been for real biting their owners for years (real serious bites) but the people had normalized the behavior despite the safety issues.  Often what brought them in my door was some other seemingly minor behavior compared to the biting from my professional perspective, or an even more serious escalation of the behavior the family had normalized for a very long time.

And in my own case, how much I’ve normalized about life with impaired visual processing.  As well as how much I’ve normalized life with a guide dog.  After the movie I asked my husband his thoughts.  The movie shows a portion of how guide dogs are traffic trained to avoid cars and in intelligent disobedience.  My husband had no idea!  I was surprised he had no clue about that.  I guess I kind of figured he knew.  I mean he knows Tom and I have traffic checks when we are out and about, he knows they stress me out and how immensely glad I am Tom is so on the ball.  But apparently he hadn’t ever really grasped what really it means.

The experience with Audio Describe is getting me thinking, maybe I’m at a point where re-exploring some different assistive tech might be useful.  Who knows what else I’m missing that I don’t even realize.  Assistive Technology has grown in leaps in bounds especially in the past few years, maybe it’s time to take a new look at what’s out there.


Tom dressed up as the Magic School Bus from the books of the same.  Yellow felt vest with black school bus markings and some colored sea life painted on under his guide dog harness.  For an event we are volunteering at.