October isn’t just for wearing pink and Brest Cancer Awareness. It’s also Meet the Blind Month, so we’re accessorizing with canes, a positive attitude about blindness, and getting out there doing everyday things like everybody else. Here’s Marley with her long purple cane, and me with my long white cane as we leave Town Square after a fun story time and magic show before school today.
Here are just a few friendly reminders of do’s and don’ts when meeting a blind person.
Do; say hello instead of standing around waiting for us to expect to know you’re there.
Don’t; point when we are asking for directions, we are asking because we actually need directions.
Do; ask if we might need assistance.
Don’t; grab us by the arm and drag us to where you think we might be going or across the intersection.
Do; ask us about our blindness if you are curious. We are more than happy to talk.
Don’t; point and stare, jump over our canes, or pull your children across the street. Blindness isn’t a contagious disease.
Do; tell us which bills are which when giving us change.
Don’t; say, “Here are your bills, and here are your coins.” I think we can figure that one out for ourselves.
Do; engage us in conversation. Some of us actually might have some pretty interesting, intelligent, or hilarious anecdotes to share.
Don’t; yel or speak slowly to us. We are blind, not deaf.
To my blind friends reading this who have your own do’s and don’ts to share, please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you.