Check out four ways to help a visually impaired person
With more educational institutions and work places including people with visual impairment, it is important to know how to communicate with them. Due to lack of awareness, society is still unaware on how to interact with them. Read on.
Even today, most people are unaware about how to interact with a blind person. Some get really uncomfortable and tensed when around a disabled person. Inclusion is happening at educational institutions and workplaces. That means more people are going to get chances to meet and greet people with blindness. So if you are wondering how to interact or even help a blind person, read on to know.
“When you end a conversation with a visually impaired person, make sure to have the courtesy to tell them that you are leaving the room. Also, acknowledge us after we talk so that we know you are still part of the conversation. We need to know you are listening to us. I always want the other person to respond when I talk because we cannot see other person’s facial expressions”, says Simran Chawla, a visually impaired beauty pageant winner from Delhi.
Here are four things to remember
- Don’t assume– This is the first and foremost thing that you must understand. With help of assistive devices, people with visual impairment can do things on their own. Yes, sometimes they will need help but you will be asked for it. Offer help only if asked. Visually impaired people are more independent than you think. Assuming that they need help with basic things for which you rely on your eyesight would be foolish.
- Don’t be offended if they do not take your help– People keep assuming that a visually impaired person needs help in everything. So when they are offered help and denies, some people gets offended. If help is declined, there is nothing to feel offended about. Visually impaired people do not always need help.
- Communicate clearly– Your words must be exact and precise. Since they cannot see your body language, make sure that your sentences are crisp when you talk to your visually impaired friend or colleague. Use clear words and effective intonation. Do not do stupid things like shouting at them thinking that they need to hear you.
- Treat them equal– Visually impaired people, or any person with disability is often treated like children. It is important to treat them just like how you would treat any other person without a disability. This is important to build mutual respect.
“Do not sympathize with a blind person because you do not know what they can or cannot achieve. When you work together with a blind person, come forward and introduce yourselves. When we do not approach, don’t think that we are being arrogant. There are some people who even gets irritated when we initiate to say a hello”, says Kritica Purohit, who is visually impaired.
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