Or we have the following tips:
Blindness is not a disease that other people can get, so don’t be afraid to communicate with a person with Low or No Vision.
Address the person, by name if they have a name badge; otherwise address them by saying your name to get their attention.
In general a person with Low or No vision is not deaf, and they do not know you are speaking to them unless you address them as above, as they can’t see that you are looking at them. And you don’t need to raise your voice either, as they usually have pretty good hearing.
Do not assume the person needs assistance. First ask them if they do.
When you are assisting a person with Low or No vision always ask them how they would like you to assist them. The general rule is for them to hold your right arm above the elbow and that puts them half a pace behind you and they can follow every move you make as you are walking. Also advise them what is coming up ahead, such as steps etc, (if the person is carrying a cane in their left hand, naturally they would hold your left arm above the elbow).
When assisting a person with Low or No vision who has a Guide Dog and is on the move, that person will instruct the Guide Dog to follow you. Please do not touch the guide dog.
When assisting a person with Low or No vision to a vehicle just take them to the side of the vehicle near the door so they can open the door for themselves, as they use this as a guide as to where the seat is. People with Low or No vision use their hands as their eyes, and they have to feel where the things are as a normal person can see this.
When you are in company of a person with Low or No Vision and you want to do something by yourself, always leave the person near a wall or something, never just leave them in the middle of space. When a person cannot see, their orientation is sometimes awry.
When you are assisting a person with Low or No vision to a chair in a room or at a table etc, just put them at the chair so they can feel the chair and they will find how to sit on it. Do not try to sit them down on the chair.
When you are in conversation with a person with Low or No vision and you wish to leave and go somewhere else, either make contact with that person by touching them on the shoulder, or saying their name. Tell the person that you are leaving and will be back or whatever, as the person will start talking to you again and there will be nobody there. They don’t see you leave, and of course if you return announce that you are back again.
If you are assisting a person with Low or No vision with meals or food of any kind, tell them what is on the plate etc, and if you place a drink there tell them where it is as they use their hands to find it and will possibly knock it over.
In general a person with Low or No vision doesn’t mind if you tell them that something is out of place, like the collar of a shirt is not out over their jacket, or if they have odd socks on, as there will be another pair the same at home in the draw!!!.
In general most people with Low or No vision are fairly jovial and usually make jokes about themselves, they don’t mind others making jokes about Blindness.
The priority with people with Low or No vision is always COMMUNICATION.
This post was written by Aid for the Blind QLD Inc