Communicating with Visually Impaired people

DO-

  • Introduce yourself, don’t forget, visually impaired people can’t always recognise voices
  • Say your position, especially if you are giving someone an instruction or order
  • Explain if you are with someone and introduce them
  • Say when you’re leaving. Don’t just walk away as you don’t want them to carry on talking when you’re not there
  • Be sure you don’t point or say ‘over there’. Use the clock face when telling a visually impaired person where something is
  • Try to use other senses when giving directions. Smells, music, textured pavements etc
  • With written communications, ask what the preferred format is, not everyone is the same
  • Give verbal responses to non verbal actions, such as yes, I agree etc
  • Touch the arm or shoulder to make sure they know they’re speaking to them
  • Tell the visually impaired person if you’re on the phone otherwise they may think you’re still speaking to them

 

DON’T –

  • Make assumptions about mobility, some people don’t like escalators and guide dogs can’t use them either
  • Take the lead from the visually impaired person; they might prefer a certain route
  • Assume all visually impaired people can read braille, ask what format they require

For more information about this topic, please email info@eyewishaccess.co.uk