Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog!
Today I have for you a more lifestyle/personal post and it’s all about the things you shouldn’t do or say to a visually impaired person.
As a visually impaired person myself, A lot of these things have happened to me and I want people to be aware of these things as they could be very insulting or hurtful to a visually impaired person.
I just want to give a quick disclaimer by saying that if you have done or said any of these things to a blind or partially sighted person the don’t worry! I’m not doing this post to insult or hurt anyone’s feelings, I just want people to be more aware of these things.
So after getting all that out of the way, I think we shall begin!
1. Talking to the person that’s with the visually impaired person rather than talking to them
This is something that doesn’t only happen to visually impaired people but also to disabled people in general. We as disabled people can talk for ourselves, the fact that we have a disability doesn’t mean that we can’t speak for ourselves. This happens to me a lot, sometimes even the people that know me well do the same thing, it’s really hurtful that people assume that disabled people are not able to speak for themselves. Say if someone were to come up to me whilst I’m with my mum or someone and then would ask a question to my mum but about me (something like : how much can she see? Or ‘is she ok’) I would tend to answer that question myself, because i want people to realise that even though i can’t see that well, I can still speak for myself. We are able to do that, so please if you decide to ask a question to a disabled person in the future, try asking it to them rather than to the person that they are with.
2. The words ‘It’s over there’
This is one of the main things that annoy me! ‘There’ doesn’t mean anything to me! ‘There’ could be north, it could be south , it could mean left or right, I don’t know where on earth ‘there’ is !! If a visually impaired person asks you something like ‘where is the ketchup?’ Please don’t say ‘it’s over there’, please explain in more detail so that person has a better idea of where ‘there’ is!
3. Refusing guide dog access
Now I don’t personally own a guide (as of yet) but a lot of my friends and people that I know have experienced shop or restaurant owners refusing access to their guide dogs. I want you to know that this is illegal. Guide dogs are working dogs and they act as someone’s eyes, if you refuse access to a visually impaired person and their guide dog then you could get pinalized for it.
4. Moving things without warning!
As a visually impaired person I stand by the saying ‘A place for everything and everything in it’s place’, the reason being that I keep things in certain places so when I go to find them i can easily do so. Now say that someone moved the object I was looking for (lets take my toothbrush for example) I wouldn’t know where it had been moved to. My mother often cleans the bathroom and moves my toothbrush and forgets to warn me about it so then when I go to brush my teeth at night I won’t be able to find my toothbrush! But my family are very good and they always (well most of the time) tell me if they have moved anythjng! Another example is if a person would leave something in the middle of my way (say if someone happened to place their schoolbag in the middle of the corridor at lunch time) I wouldn’t expect that to be there so I would most likely trip!
5. Grabbing a visually impaired person by their arm without warning
You would be shocked at how many times this actually happens. People seem to assume that visually impaired people want help, this is not always the case. If you see a visually impaired person walking down the street (they might have a cane, a symbol cane or a guide dog) don’t just go up to them and grab their arm and try to take them somewhere (we know that you are trying to help but for us as we can’t see you, it is a very scary thing to experience. If you want to help then just ask if we’d like help, don’t just assume that we do.
That’s all for today everyone! I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Let me know if you’d like to see a part 2 of this, I would definitelh be up to writing that for you!
I hope you’re all well, and I’ll talk to you in my next post.