For Communicating With a Person With a Visual Disability
Make sure you tell a
person who is blind who you are, if you are new to them.
If you offer to help,
don't be surprised if they do not want any.
If you are helping
and not sure what to do, ask the person.
A soft touch on the
elbow will show a person who is blind that you are talking to them.
If you are taking a walk
with a person who is blind, don't take his arm, let him take yours.
Blind does not mean you
can't hear, so don't shout. If you want to ask a question, ask the
person. If the person has a companion, do not ask the companion.
Never pet a guide dog unless
they are "off duty," even if you ask the owner.
Don't worry about
using the words "see", "look", or even "blind." You can
use these words if you both feel comfortable about it.
When you meet a friend with a
visual disability, mention your name. It is very hard to recognize voices
unless you have a very different sound.
Don't just leave without the
person knowing. Tell the person when you go.
When you are giving directions,
be as accurate as you can, warn about obstacles, and give clock cues like
"the chair is at 4 o'clock".
"U.S. Department of Labor; Office of Disability Employment Policy.
28 January 2005 <http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/comucate.htm>.
"Communicating With People With
Disabilities." Access Office Disability Support Services; St. Louis
Community College. 28 January 2005 <http://www.stlcc.edu/fp/access/Main/Communicating.html>.
With People With Disabilities". Adaptive Environment Center. 28
January 2005. <http://www.dissvcs.uga.edu/com-peodis.htmlb>.
"Tips for People With Disabilities."
Task Force on Disability Issues;
University of Minnesota Crookston. 8 November 2004
clip art images of eye and person with cane from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?lc=en-us&cag=1>
(October-March, 2004-2005). Clip art only available to licensed
users for non-commercial purposes.
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