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 to help sighted people know how to interact with people who are blind.
"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
Resources to Support You in Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE downloadable handbooks and handouts on the Free Printables page along with access to the Goal Bank pages. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password.
Purchase the TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC Complete Set and immediately unlock the pages within the ECC Complete Set Bonus including bonus printables, interactive sensory stories, interactive matching activities, interactive choice making activities, job task box activities and MORE! This is my way of continuing to support you and say "Thank you!" for choosing to purchase the Complete Set.
Teaching Students with Visual Impairments LLC
All Rights Reserved