We’ve blogged before about using a human guide when you are blind or have low vision, but what about the view from the other side? If you are sighted and wish to offer assistance to someone who has a visual impairment, what are the guidelines?
Luckily, there’s really only one important rule, and it’s very simple: Ask! That’s right, all you have to remember is to ask the person if they need any help and, if so, what they would like you to do. It can be tempting to just jump in and do whatever you think might be helpful, but don't do this. Imagine if somebody began reading things aloud to you or grabbed you and propelled you to your destination without asking: you might feel annoyed, patronized or even frightened. The same goes for people who are blind.
So that's the main thing, but there are some more advanced guidelines, such as the best techniques for physically guiding someone or for offering verbal directions. If you’d like to learn more, check out this great article from BrailleWorks: 10 Common Courtesies To Offer People Who Are Blind
Or, to see some of these techniques in action, watch this great video from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT: How to help someone with vision loss