Things You Should Not Say to Someone Who is Blind or Visually Impaired
Are you not quite sure to how to interact with someone who has a visual impairment?
Well, you have come to the right place! This post is all about things that you should avoid saying and I will also provide suggestions of how you might approach the same questions.
I encourage you to educate yourself and ask questions.
There is NOTHING wrong with being curious. It is the way you approach learning about it that would help lessen some of the misconceptions of blindness and visual impairment.
If you have any questions you are too nervous to ask or are worried it will come off insensitive or rude that is not answered here, feel free to comment them and I will do my best to answer your questions!
Throughout all of my research and talking with people from both the sighted community and the visually impaired community.
There is a disconnect of understanding between these groups of people. And in reality, both groups just want their perspective to be heard and respected.
Vision is a spectrum and no two people have the same vision situations.
This can really make it difficult to understand where people are coming from. So as someone who feels like I can relate to both communities this is my advice for you.
To the sighted community,
understand that visual impairment and sight are not black and white.
In fact, most people who are blind have some light perception and possibly even some color and recognition of shape.
It can become frustrating when sighted people ask the same questions that could be avoided by some simple education (like talking to someone who is visually impaired or watching this video!)
Also, understand everyone who is visually impaired are in a different place of accepting their disability and some people may not be in a place to talk about it and maybe more sensitive about it and that is okay.
Please keep in mind if you have ever said any of the things in this video, don’t worry about it. We understand it can be difficult to understand what it is like to be visually impaired.
This video is to help you next time you find yourself interacting with someone who is blind or visually impaired.
To the visually impaired community,
understand that sighted people have never been blind.
They are probably doing their best to understand.
Their questions though might come up as rude or sensitive it most likely was not meant to be!
Let’s work together to help the sighted community better understand and keep the communication open and create a space that is welcoming and comfortable for them to learn about visual impairment.
Something that may seem blatantly obvious to you won’t be to other people.