When I started losing vision, I could see that it was equally difficult for my family to adjust to this change as for me. They could not understand how to help me to make my life more comfortable So here are 7 ways in which you can help your blind or visually impaired friend:
1. Do not help until asked for – Our first instinct is to help our blind or visually impaired friend or relative for every little task. You will be of greater help if you are patient and let them complete the task at their own pace. Only help if asked for or at maximum offer help and then respect other person’s decision.
2. Do not move their stuff- This is the single best thing that you could do. Even if the person has low vision moving their stuff around creates frustration. You might think that you are keeping the tings in direct line of sight but believe me that is not what we want. Try and replace the objects from where you picked them.
3. No half opened doors- If you are in a place with which the visually impaired individual is familiar with like her or his home do not keep the doors half way open. Make sure either the door is fully open or completely shut. A door half way open is a hazard.
4. Replace ‘here and there’ with ‘right and left’ – While giving directions or telling your friend the placement of an object be specific. Saying that the object is lying there or here does not help. Be specific for example on the right of your chair etcetera.
5. Liquids and electronics are not best of friends- Do not keep liquids like a glass of water on the same surface as your electronic items or anything that can be spoiled by a liquid. We like to feel our way around and tend to spill liquids. We do not want additional guilt of spoiling an expensive gadget.
6. Do not switch of the light- This is especially true in case of people with low vision or retinitis pigmentosa. If you feel the natural light in a room is sufficient and you can turn off the light, please don’t. We can use all the light there is. We will turn off the light when we feel it’s not required.
7. Forget the phrase,’ You won’t be able to do it’- We can do anything that we want to do. It might not be the way you want it done or the speed at which you want it done but the task will be completed. Focus on the end and leave the means to us.
These are just a few suggestions, if you have some more tips please comment below so that it can benefit all of us.
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