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How does a person respectfully treat people who are blind? The following guidelines will assist you in remembering to emphasize "people" first, before the disability, to avoid negative connotations or patronizing language and tips on interacting with people who are blind.
Use: People with disabilities, instead of: The disabled or handicapped
Use: People who are blind, instead of: Blind people
Use: Has (specify the disability), instead of: "Afflicted with"
Use: Born with (specify the disability), instead of: Has a birth defect
Use: Uses a wheelchair, instead of: confined to a wheelchair
Use: People who are deaf, instead of: Deaf and dumb, deaf-mute, or
hearing impaired people
Use: Products created by people who are blind, instead of: Blind-made
This video is a comical way to show what one should NOT do when they meet a person who is blind.
Interacting with Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Jewish Guild for the Blind Guidelines
The following suggestions were developed and published by the Jewish Guild for the Blind for the purpose of helping sighted people know how to interact with people who are blind.
Introduce yourself. Not everyone recognizes voices or remembers them.
Don't shout. Visually impaired or blind does not mean hearing impaired.
Don't leave a person who is blind talking to themselves. Let them know when you are leaving.
Don't use hand signals. People with severe visual impairments can't see waving or pointing hands.
Don't omit words like, "See" or "Look". People with visual impairments are not offended by these words and understand that these words are part of normal conversations.
Do feel free to photograph someone who is blind or visually impaired. Everyone likes to capture special moments to save and show to others.
Do speak directly to a person who is blind. Don't speak to a family member or friend and ignore the person who is blind. Remember they can speak for themselves.
Don't push, pull or grab a person who is blind. This can cause accidents and is often embarrassing.
Do offer your arm for assistance. A person who is blind would rather take your arm than have you take their arm.
"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise."
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