Working with a blind colleague? Here are a few tips to bond better
In today's world, inclusion is inevitable in private and government jobs. Unless disabled people and those with no disabilities work together, development is impossible! India is home to millions of people with various kinds of disabilities. In this, a huge chunk constitutes of blind people. Today, blind people work in government sectors, corporate companies and even run their own businesses! Firstly, you must understand that it is not difficult to work with blind people at all.
Do you have a blind colleague? Here are a few tips that you must keep in mind while interacting with them.
- Identify yourself before starting off a conversation- During a phone call, would you always identify who is on the other side? Similarly, even blind people cannot easily identify someone's voice. Make sure that you introduce yourself before starting off a conversation. Similarly, if you have your blind colleague attending a meeting, ensure that you go around and introduce who all is part of the meeting.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions- Did you know that disabled people prefer when people ask them questions instead of just making assumptions? If you are curious about a technology that they are using, feel free to ask them about it. They would be more than glad to help you get a better insight about it!
- Do not censor your language while speaking to a blind person- You can just have a casual conversation with them. For instance, you can ask 'Did you watch that movie last night?' Most blind people do not find that offensive.
- Give a brief description of large rooms before entering- If your blind colleague is entering a new room, you can tell them to watch their step. It is absolutely OK! Give them a brief idea of the furniture kept inside the room so that they can navigate around easily.
- Do let them know when you are walking out of the room- Make sure to give them a head's up before leaving the room. Like, tell them 'hey, I will be back in a minute'. This way, you can avoid some awkward moments.