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Rules of Courtesy to the Blind

1952 - 2012

Treat a person who is blind or visually impaired just as you would anyone else.  People who are blind represent a typical cross section of the population.

The following suggestions may be helpful when meeting someone who is blind:

Offer assistance directly.  Just ask, "May I be of help?"  Speak in a normal tone.

If guiding, offer your arm by touching the back of your hand to the back of her/his hand.  Never "grab" the arm or cane of someone who is blind.

Walk at a normal pace.  Pause briefly before stepping up or down.

Don't point, if giving directions.  The word "there" is meaningless.  Be specific: use terms such as "left" or "right," and relate appropriate landmarks.

Show the location of a chair by directing the individual's hand to the back of the chair.

Speak directly in a normal tone of voice when conversing.  It is acceptable to use terms such as "see," "look," and "watch."

If making change in bills of more than one denomination, hand the bills separately to the person and identify each denomination, or simply tell them which order they are in.

Do not touch or district a dog guide when used for mobility.  Inform your friend if someone else is attempting to pet the dog.

Describe location of food on a plate, using the clock method: 3, 6, 9, or 12.

If you have questions, just ask!