Some tips to keep in mind when interacting with a visually impaired person
Even today, people are not really aware on how to interact with a friend or colleague who is visually impaired. It is not a tough task. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you interact with a visually impaired person.
The society is largely unaware on how to interact with disabled people, especially with a visually impaired person. So when you have a colleague, friend or relative with the disability, chances are high of ending up behaving to them in the weirdest manner. In fact, interacting with a visually impaired person is not a hard task nor is it complicated.
Simran Chawla, who is a beauty pageant winner, is visually impaired.
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- Simran Chawla.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you interact with a visually impaired person
Talk normally– Chances are high that you might not know how to behave with a visually impaired person when they are around. But make sure to act and behave normally. Treat them like how you would treat anyone else. They do not need any special privileges from you. In case you do not feel appropriate about anything, talk to them about it.
Identify yourself– When you walk into a room where your visually impaired colleague or friend is present, they wouldn’t obviously know it. So before starting a conversation, begin with a ‘hello’. Avoid asking questions like ‘Do you know who this is’? Not only is it irritating, but it can be very annoying as well. Understand that a visually impaired person cannot understand visual cues.
Do not touch them too much– No person likes being interfered in their personal space too much. It is not different in the case of visually impaired people either. Avoid touching them too much while making conversations.
Talk to them directly– Want to have a conversation with a visually impaired person? Then talk directly to them by addressing their name. Many people tend to talk to the companion of a visually impaired person. It will only make you look like a fool. A visually impaired person can hear well. So it is always better to have a direct conversation with them.
Kritica Purohit, who is visually impaired, focuses on the need for inclusive work spaces for visually impaired people. “Do not sympathise with a blind person because you do not know what they can or cannot achieve. 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”, she says.