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Travelling to unfamiliar places without the benefit of sight is not for the faint hearted! Hanif Kruger, who is blind, is the manager of SANCB’s Assistive Technology Centre. He recently wrote about travelling alone with his guide dog from Tshwane to Cape Town.

From catching trains without the aid of tactile signs, to receiving hurtful and ignorant comments from the public, and attracting scrutiny from airport security, Hanif endured it all.

“There are stereotypes, generally inaccurate, associated with either disability in general, or with specific disabilities (for instance a presumption that all disabled people want to be cured, that wheelchair users necessarily have an intellectual disability or that blind people have some special form of insight).

“It is sad that assumptions are made about people based on their disability as labelling affects people when it limits their options for action or changes their identity.

“I still went to Cape Town that day and we ended up building those sandcastles. I have a pending invitation to Columbia and have made many friends just because I dared to venture away out of my corner.”