The Things You Should Not Say or Do to a Visually Impaired Person

Greetings Everyone!

Welcome back to!
Today I have a blog for you in relation to my recent video that I created for my YouTube channel.

Some of you may recall that I did a video on The Top Ten Misconceptions about Visual Impairment (click here to view) and this video was so popular I decided to make a sequel.

This video is called The Things You Should Never Say or Do to a Visually Impaired Person.

Check out the video below

Like what you see, click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos (videos are posted on Sundays 9am GMT.)

  1. Waving your hand in front of their face or asking them ‘how many fingers they are holding up?’ This first one is very strange to me, because its as if they were doing this to test whether or not I am lying about the fact that I am visually impaired and use a Guid Dog.
  2. Asking a visually impaired person ‘can you see that?’ If they are asking for directions. If you are approached by a person with sight loss, instead of asking them can they see something as them what can they see. If they cannot see anything, you can always ask them if it would be better for you to describe sounds to listen out for and landmarks they might feel with their cane for example.
  3. Speaking to the person with them instead of them.  This one is, for me, the most annoying one out of all the others. In life there are situations that I find myself in where people will talk to the person with me (like family members or friends) as opposed to me and all ask them questions in regards to my disability. I feel that often people are scared of disability and feel as if they can’t so much as have a simple conversation over the most trivial things like ‘do you take sugar in your tea?’ But, don’t feel scared of disability, accept and embrace it.
  4. Grabbing their arm without warning. This one is rather a humorous topic, for sometimes members of the general public will come up to me and randomly grab my arm because they want to guide or help me. But, you have to remember when you are visually impaired and someone comes up to you and grabs your arm without warning this is a scary situation to be in. Because you don’t know who this person is and if they are trying to help you are to harm you. So, next time you want to help someone who is sight impaired, simply go up to them and introduce yourself and ask them if they need any help. Never go up and grab their arm.
  5. Don’t assume that all people with sight loss needs help all of the time. People with sight loss can be just as independent as anyone else, of course its always good to ask them if they need some assistance if you feel that they do. But, if they answer no, don’t feel as if you need to help them regardless of their decline.
  6. Saying the words ‘Its over there.’ Those dreaded three words can instantly transform my mood from mild into a raging fury. When you are visually impaired ‘there’ is an infinite concept, because I do not know which way you are pointing. It could mean anywhere, the word means absolutely nothing to me.
  7. Refusing a person with a Guide Dog access. This one is quite a serious topic and sadly it happens more often than not. But, it is illegal to reuse a Guide Dog access from any public place, that dog is there for a reason, the dog is a mobility aid therefore is permitted in any public place.
  8. Feeding a Guide Dog. Even though Guide Dogs are extremely adorable to look at and all you may want to do is to slip a little bit of your banana of sausage roll. Guide Dogs simply cannot be fed when they are working not under any circumstances. Unless the Guide Dog owner feeds them their allowed treats of course. But guide dogs are very food orientated animals and if they get used to the taste of human food. They could start to scavenge in the street, when they should be guiding their owner. Feeding them can be very distracting for that guide dog and can be very dangerous potentially for the owner.
  9. Presume they don’t have a life or are incapable of having a good quality of life. This one still shocks me to this very day, sometimes people will approach me and ask things like ‘can you work?’ or ‘do you just sit indoors and listen to the radio?’ People with sight loss are able to have a good standard of living just like anyone else. Just because I have limited vision does not mean to say that I cannot work or have hobbies. So this presumption is very narrow minded and offensive to people with sight loss and other disabilities.
  10. Talking to them as if they were stupid. People with sight loss are not incapable of understanding what you say, so there is no need to talk to a visually impaired person as if they were stupid.
  11. Moving things without warning or walking off without notice. Sometimes in the past people have moved things around without warning and this has lead to to knocking things over like drinks or bowels of food. But, this could have been easily prevented if I had been told. Similarly, if you speak to a visually impaired person and then wish to end the conversation do not simply walk off, always end the conversation by telling them that you are going to be going.

And that concludes todays blog today guys I really hope you enjoyed it ad that it has given you some insight into the world of sight loss. People with visual impairments who may be reading this I hope you enjoyed this and please comment below with any of your own experiences.

Thanks for reading and until next time adieu!

Posted by

Emily is a Masters Degree Student, Writer, Journalist, YouTuber and blogger who runs the blog and YouTube channel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.