Communicating effectively with people who are blind or vision impaired

When speaking with a person who is blind or has low vision, be yourself and act naturally. You should also consider the following tips:

  • Identify yourself - don't assume the person will recognise you by your voice.
  • Speak naturally and clearly. Loss of eyesight does not mean loss of hearing.
  • Continue to use body language. This will affect the tone of your voice and give a lot of extra information to the person who is vision impaired.
  • Use everyday language. Don't avoid words like "see" or "look" or talking about everyday activities such as watching TV or videos.
  • Name the person when introducing yourself or when directing conversation to them in a group situation.
  • Never channel conversation through a third person.
  • In a group situation, introduce the other people present.
  • Never leave a conversation with a person without saying so.
  • Use accurate and specific language when giving directions. For example, "the door is on your left", rather than "the door is over there".
  • Avoid situations where there is competing noise.
  • Always ask first to check if help is needed.
  • Relax and be yourself.
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