By: Carmen Willings
Updated July 21, 2018
People who are sighted can often feel apprehensive when encountering, conversing with or teaching a student who is blind or visually impaired. They question what to say or what not to say. As part of an In-Service meeting, help educators and team members understand how to interact with the student who is blind visually impaired.
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
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.
TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind and Visually Impaired. 32 Thematic Units and over 450 age neutral ECC activities in one book! Available for purchase as a pdf digital download.
FREE VI Program Templates
Become a member for FREE to access the Printable VI Program Templates to support your district's vision program. Includes VI Program resources, FVE/LMA templates and NEW Sample FVE Reports ebook. Simply click on Log In|Register in the navigation bar at the top of the page and follow the directions to register and create your password.
Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.
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." -Benjamin Franklin