Supporting and guiding someone with sight loss
- Always verbally introduce yourself and speak directly to the person.
- When speaking to someone always use their name (if known).
- If you don’t know their name it can be helpful to say, "Hello I am …. Can I help you with anything"?
- Speak and avoid relying on non-verbal gestures such as pointing or nodding/shaking your head.
- Don’t be scared to offer help if you think the person might want assistance if you are unsure just ask them.
- Give the person a little extra time to respond.
- Always tell the person if you are going to leave them alone.
- Always tell the person if you are going to hand them over to someone else.
- Ask the person if they would like to be guided and follow their preferences.
- If support is required, ask the person if they want you to walk in front, side, or back of them.
- Provide the person with clear verbal instruction, describing the route you are taking, and avoiding all obstacles.
- Go at the person's pace and give enough time to warn of changes in direction or potential obstacles.
- Tell the person what you are doing and explain each step especially if it involves physical contact.
- Follow these tips for people arriving at or leaving the vaccination site.
RNIB's website also provides lots of useful information rnib.org.uk
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Page last reviewed: 06 November 2023