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Nullo's avatar

Advice for working with the blind (see details)

Asked by Nullo (21828 points ) May 1st, 2010

One of our patrons is sufficiently visually impaired (and usually unaccompanied) that he will ask for an employee to guide him as he goes about the store. Today that guide was me, and though I did a good job of it (the man needed only to get to the pharmacy and back), the experience showed me that I know little in the way of proper protocol. Any tips? Suggestions? Common pitfalls?

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3 Answers

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

A big pitfall for many, is the need to describe every little detail around them. It can be a little insulting. My neighbor is blind, but that didn’t stop him from doing the things he loved such as skiing or golfing. One summer day, the family & I were outside playing croquet. He stepped outside, asked what we were doing & wanted to join in. We handed him a mallet & told him where to aim & how far it was. He came in third place out of 5 people. If the person has been blind for a while, they are very well attuned to the ‘new’ world. Just walk with them to make sure they avoid any hazards. If they have questions, they’ll ask & you will give the answer. It’s simple.

mattbrowne's avatar

Enjoy a dinner at a dark restaurant to experience the mindset of blind people, for example

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindekuh_(restaurant)

add ) in URL

I once did this and it’s a wonderfully enlightening experience.

Cruiser's avatar

I would just ask them how you can best serve them. I’m sure they would be more than happy to educate you to the finer points of “seeing” the world the way they do!

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