6 DOs and DON’Ts on How to Interact with People who Have Visual Impairment
When able-bodied people encounter people living with disabilities, sometimes things can get awkward. This is usually because able-bodied people tend to overcompensate while trying to be polite. Especially when interacting with anyone who is visually impaired. President and CEO of Perkins School for the Blind Dave Power suggests that “There’s no ‘secret’ to interacting with people who are blind. They just want to be treated like everybody else, with courtesy and respect. A little understanding and sensitivity goes a long way. By taking the initiative to be mindful, you’ll find that making a human connection is easy. It doesn’t matter if one person can see, and the other can’t.” here are a few tips on how to be courteous with people who are visually impaired:
1. DO Refrain from Shouting Unnecessarily: Many average people have a gut instinct to start speaking louder when talking to anyone who has a disability. This is especially pointless and rude when talking to people who are visually impaired. Chances are they can hear you perfectly well. So there’s no need to shout.
2. DON’T Throw A Pity Party: It’s normal to feel sad about the fact that someone is living with a disability. But be careful not to overdo it with expressions of sadness or sympathy. Showering them with pity creates the impression that you perceive their condition as hopeless. Which it’s not.
3. DO Express Yourself Normally: While it’s important to choose your words carefully in any conversation, don’t become so terrified of putting your foot in your mouth that you stop speaking organically. The people you meet have a right to know the real you.
4. DON’T Make Thoughtless Gestures of Assistance: Most people who want to demonstrate kindness are eager to lend a helping hand to the disabled. But be careful about offering unsolicited help, or assuming that the person you’re talking to is helpless. Analyze the situation first, and reach out respectfully if necessary. When in doubt, simply ask if they need help.
5. DO Make Your Proximity Known: Depending on their degree of blindness, some visually impaired people might not have full orientation about their surroundings. When you approach them, introduce yourself clearly, and let them know whether you’re coming or going. Don’t walk away from a conversation unannounced, and don’t assume they can detect your physical approach.
6. DON’T Be Condescending: Physical disability has nothing to do with intellectual capacity. If someone is visually impaired, don’t make the mistake of thinking they have limited intelligence. Avoid making autonomous decisions, or speaking on their behalf, just because of your own personal biases.
If you don’t spend a lot of time around people who live with disabilities, it can be easy to behave in an insensitive way. Instead of panicking or making hasty assumptions, simply pause and heighten your emotional intelligence in the moment. Any interaction with other people can run smoothly as long as you practice decency. Be respectful, avoid relying on stereotypes, and use empathy to anticipate their needs. Everything else will fall into place as long as you relax. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative courses, workshops and events listed on our websites and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Academy can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.