Best Advice for the Sighted when around a blind or visually impaired person

Compiled by Katherine Schneider, Ph.D.(most tips were submitted by several people)
schneiks@uwec.edu

Treat me like an adult. Please don’t talk to me like I’m a child.
-Barbara; Spartanburg, SC

If you’re aware that a blind person is
in need of a regular ride to school, church or some other regularly scheduled event
feel free to say yes if you can commit to helping out with transportation. If you
can’t commit to helping most of the time either introduce the blind person to someone
you know who lives some place that is on the way to the event or simply leave the situation alone.
-Chris, age 62; Everett, Washington

Please don’t grab me, especially the arm that has my cane in it.
-Yvonne,48; in Pennsylvania

Do _not Grab a person’s arm; ask if the person needs help.
-Eric C.

Ask me if I need help rather than assume. Listen to my answer rather than follow your anxious agenda. We may accidentally hit your shoes with our cane, but we don’t bite.
-Ericka; Kenosha, WI

Never go up to a blind person and say Guess who this is! Please, all sighted folks, say the persons name when speaking to them in a crowd, such as, “Hello Nola, glad to see you at this concert, I am Sarah, we met at church.”
-Nola M.

Say “bye” when leaving a room or conversation. That way we know you’re gone!
-Kathie; WI

Use the face of the clock when indicating the placement of food on a
blind person’s plate– potatoes at nine, etc.
-Claire; Texas

Ask before you pet a dog guide in order to not distract the working dog.
-Claire; Texas (many people submitted this)

All blind people are different. They desire help in different ways. Don’t stress
if someone is offended by your asking if he or she needs help. It’s not your problem,
you tried.
-David F.; LA
Blind persons like to participate in all kinds of activities so never rule a blind
person out because you think they can not participate.—Ask!
-Claire; Texas

You get extra credit if you tell us interesting points in the environment like a “wet paint” sign or that there are treats in the break room for so and so’s birthday.
-Kathie; WI

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