How To Speak With Someone Who Is BlindFor sighted people, it can be confusing as to how to talk to a blind person. What to do? What not to do?
Here are some things to DO:
- Identify yourself, especially when entering a room. Don't say, "Do you know who this is?"
- Speak directly to the individual. Do not speak through a companion. Unless they are hard of hearing, they can speak for themselves.
- Provide specific directions like, "The desk is five feet to your right," as opposed to saying, "The desk is over there."
- Give a clear word picture when describing things to an individual with vision loss. Include details such as color, texture, shape and landmarks.
- Touch them on the arm or use their name when addressing them. This lets them know you are speaking to them, and not someone else in the room.
- Treat Blind people as individuals. People with visual disabilities come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else.
Here are some things NOT to do:
- DON'T shout when you speak. They can't see but often have fine hearing.
- DON'T be afraid to use words like "blind" or "see." Their eyes may not work, but it is still, "Nice to see you."
- DON'T pet, feed, or distract a guide dog. They are not pets; they are working companions on whom a Blind person depends.
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