Treat a person who is blind or visually impaired just as you would anyone else. People who are blind represent a typical cross section of the population. The following suggestions may be helpful when meeting someone who is blind:
- Offer assistance directly. Just ask, "May I be of help?" Speak in a normal tone.
- If guiding, offer your arm by touching the back of your hand to the back of his/her hand. Never "grab" the arm of cane of someone who is blind.
- Walk at a normal pace, pause briefly before stepping up or down.
- Don't point if giving directions. The word "there" is meaningless. Be specific: use terms such as "left" or "right" and relate appropriate landmarks.
- Show the location of a chair by directing the individual's hand to the back of the chair.
- Speak directly in a normal tone of voice when conversing. It is acceptable to use terms such as "see", "look" and "watch".
- If making change in bills of more than one denomination, hand the bills seperately to the person and identify the demonination, or simply tell them which order they are in.
- Do not touch or distract a dog guide when used for mobility. Inform your friend if someone else is attempting to pet the dog.
- Describe location of food on a plate using the clock method: 3,6,9, or 12.
- If you have questions - just ask!
Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired
More Guidelines from the American Foundation for the Blind