A Guide Dog in Mexico

I’m leaning against a large, 3D letter L. An E is next to it, forming the first two letters of the city, Leon. Mylo is lying down on the floor in front of the L, and behind us is a grand stone arch, Arco Triunfal de la Calzada de los Héroes.

Traveling to Mexico with a guide dog has gotten so much easier! A USDA endorsed health certificate is no longer required, cutting down on extra vet visits, costs, and stress. All we need is proof of rabies vaccination and the usual U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Transportation form. When we arrived in Mexico, a customs … Read more

Teaching Accessibility at Caesar’s Palace

I’m standing on stage, speaking at a podium with the Gartner logo. My Seeing Eye dog Mylo is beside me.

Standing on the Caesars Palace stage, I invited tech leaders to think of disability-inclusive designs as opportunities for greater innovation. An audience is a gift, and I’m grateful Gartner gave me this platform to teach people about accessibility.

A New Accessible Pedestrian Signal for Blind Travelers

A New Accessible Pedestrian Signal for Blind Travelers

Most street corners lack pedestrian signals we can feel or hear. Imagine the liberation offered by an app using AI to read visual signals! OKO is free, too!

I’m excited for portable, accessible pedestrian signals, but I also have questions: How reliable is it?

Video Description

Haben Girma and her guide dog Mylo are standing at a street corner. She is holding up her phone toward the pedestrian signal.

iPhone: (Don’t walk signal, Slow Beeping).

Haben: I’m testing out a new app called OKO. When I get to an intersection, I hold up my phone and scan for a pedestrian signal. When it detects it and it’s a red light, it beeps slowly. It also pulses so I can feel the vibration. Then when the light changes, it speeds up. So you can either hear or feel when the light’s green.

(Fast beeping)

Description: Haben puts her phone in her pocket and then speaks to her guide dog.

Haben: Forward!

Description: Seeing Eye dog Mylo starts walking into the intersection with Haben.

Haben: Then my guide dog and I cross the street.