Part 2: Dos and Don’ts Around a Blind Person

The Dos and Don’ts When Around a Blind Person

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Welcome back to… The dos and don’ts when around a blind person, my name is Avery, and I’ll be your host for this evening. Previously we went over some basic things to do while with someone that has low vision. We went over tips such as using description and proper etiquette, so if you haven’t read that yet and are interested, you should check that out. Today we are adding to the list, so let’s learn some things! Something to keep in mind is that blindness is a spectrum, so the tips I give out in this entry may not work for everyone. You should always communicate with your visually impaired friend, student, or loved one before trying some things. This brings me to my first point…

Asking permission before assisting

Part 2: Dos and don'ts around a blind person. Make sure you ask. Three tiles on a table with the word "ask" spelled out.

Although it may be an instinct to help your visually impaired friend do things like cross the street, it may not always be wanted. People with low vision are capable of lots of things, like crossing the street and navigating around in general. Obviously assist if requested, but please don’t grab our arms and take us places. Always ask if the person wants to be assisted. This also doesn’t apply to just street crossings. You shouldn’t take us anywhere without consent, like to the other side of the room, to a random table, or downstairs.

Guiding a person with low vision

Part 2: Dos and don'ts around a blind person. A friend is helping a blind young woman cross the street at a crosswalk.

As I briefly mentioned in my last point, guiding a person with low vision is something you should look at carefully. One tip for when your navigating with a friend could be alerting them when you are about to go up or down stairs (bonus points for adding a countdown up till when the stairs end.) This also works for curbs or drop-offs. Another tip is describing obstacles such as chairs in the way or a hanging branch. You can pair this last one with descriptions, which we talked about in the last blog. Things to describe could be the weird thing happening across the street or the large cloud that looks like a duck. Notes in terrain are another thing you could implement while out on walks. For example, if you were to step off of the concrete and take a walk on some grass. This is helpful because it gives us more time to change cane techniques or mentally prepare for potholes.

More to come on Dos and don’ts around a blind person!

Believe it or not, but that was only the beginning of helpful things to do. I will once again be making another part to this, there is just so much more to know! Thank you for reading this, and I hope you will come back for the other installments.

Written by an SBES Student

Click here if you missed part one!

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We look forward to helping you and your students.

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