Interacting With A Person Who is Blind

When I meet a person who is blind  …

I will remember that my attitude toward blindness is vitally important for establishing healthy relationships.

I will use the words, “look,” “see,” “blind,” etc. Avoidance of these words will only make a blind person self-conscious.

I will identify myself when meeting a blind person so that I do not give her the insecurity of wondering who I am.

I will look directly at her when speaking.

I will tell a blind person who else might be within speaking range, and I will announce when I’m leaving the presence of a blind person so she will not be embarrassed by speaking to no one.

I will offer a blind person my elbow for assistance in walking, staying about one step ahead so he can anticipate my movements.

I will open a door and the blind person I’m guiding will hold it open as we pass through.

I will caution a blind person about obstacles in his path, ascending or descending stairs and curbs.

I will offer assistance to a blind person in crossing streets even though she may have a cane or GUIDE dog.

I will place the hand of a blind person on a door handle or the back or arm of a chair for his orientation.

I will allow a blind person the dignity of speaking for herself and discourage other people from talking through me unless the blind person has a severe hearing loss.

I will keep a blind person informed and aware of the present circumstances.

I will assist a blind person at the dining table. A clock face description of the location of food on a plate is often appreciated.

I will allow a blind person the courtesy of handling cash. A blind person can tell the difference in coins by touch and identify paper money by various methods of folding.

Written and Compiled by Carol M. McCarl
Blindskills, Inc., PO Box 5181, Salem, OR 97304-0181
Call toll-free 800-860-4224 or 503-581-4224