Blinded Veterans Association Florida Regional Group

Blind Etiquette

1.   I’m an ordinary person...just blind.  Don’t ask my spouse or guide what I want...ask me.

2. Greet us when we enter a room so we know you are present.

3. Indicate the end of a conversation when you leave us so that we aren’t left talking to the air.

4. When offering assistance, never take us by the arm.  If you offer your arm instead, we can follow slightly behind and anticipate curbs and steps.

5. When offering assistance to a blind person, be direct.  Speak in a normal tone.  Address them directly as this will help them locate you.  If your gaze wanders, your voice follows.

6. In giving directions, don’t point.  Use a landmark or identify intersections by street name, say:  “Three blocks ahead, cross the intersection, turn left two blocks and the building is on your right.”

7. In showing a blind person to a chair, place their hand upon the back of it.  Don’t try to push them into it.

8. If you are service personnel, please identify yourself as such, i.e., I am your waiter.

9. When serving food to a blind person, offer to read the menu.  Describe food on the plate using the face of a clock, i.e., with drinks at 12:00, food at 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00.

10. In making change in bills for more than one denomination, hand each bill separately and identify each denomination.  This is not necessary with coins.

11. Don’t avoid words like “see,” “look,” ‘watch,” etc.  I use them too and I’m always glad to see you.