Interacting with someone who is Blind or Visually Impaired
1. If you see a person who is blind or visually impaired and seems to need help, offer your services.If your help is refused, don’t be offended.
2. Identify yourself when you enter a room and tell them when you leave.
3. Inform the person what you are doing as you move in the room as they can hear you and will be curious or concerned.
4. Ask permission before you touch a person who is blind or visually impaired.
5. If you do assist a person who is blind or visually impaired, offer them your arm.DO NOT push them in front of you.Offering your arm allows them to follow the motions of your body and is much safer.
6. Speak directly to a person who is blind or visually impaired, not through a third party.If you need to get their attention and do not know their name, touch their arm so that they know you are speaking to them.
7. In a restaurant, offer to read the menu to them.Explain where food is on a plate/tray by the clock method, such as “your meat is at 6:00.”
8. Do not pet a guide dog.Remember that this dog is responsible for leading a master who cannot see and should never be distracted from that duty.
9. Go ahead and use words like “look” and “see” when talking with a person who is blind or visually impaired, they use them too.
10. Don’t be overprotective.The person who is blind or visually impaired should do as much as they can by and for themselves.
11. Always give directions to a person who is blind or visually impaired according to the way they are facing. (i.e. “turn to your right.”)
12. Remember that people who are blind or visually impaired are as much individuals as you and me.
13. Remember that common sense and sensitivity are the most important skills of all.
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