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Visually Impaired

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People who are visually impaired know how to orient themselves and get around on the street. They are competent enough to travel unassisted, though they may use a cane or a guide dog. A person may have a visual disability that is not obvious.Offer assistance—for example in reading— only when asked.

One should Identify oneself before making physical contact with a person who is blind by telling him ones name and role if it’s appropriate, such as security guard, usher, co-worker, receptionist or fellow student.He/she also should be introduced to others who are in the group, so that he/she may be not feel excluded.

If a new customer or employee is blind or visually impaired, offer him a tour of your the place and if there are changes or rennovations (i.e., rearranged the furniture) notify your customers who are blind of the changes.

People who are blind need their arms for balance, so offer your arm—don’t take his—if he needs to be guided. Guide a blind person’s hand to a banister or the back of a chair to help direct him to a stairway or a seat.

If the person has a guide dog, walk on the side opposite the dog. As you are walking, describe the setting, noting any obstacles, such as stairs or a big crack in the sidewalk. Other hazards include: revolving doors, half-opened filing cabinets or doors, and objects protruding from the wall at head level such as hanging plants or lamps. If you are going to give a warning, be specific. A guide dog does not tell the person if he should stop, run, duck or jump.
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If you are giving directions, give specific, nonvisual information.

If you need to leave a person who is blind, inform him first and let him know where the exit is, then leave him near a wall, table, or some other landmark. The middle of a room will seem like the middle of nowhere to him.

Never touch the person's cane or guide dog. The dog is working and needs to concentrate. The cane is part of the individual's personal space. If the person puts the cane down, don't move it. Let him know if it's in the way.

Offer to read written information such as the menu, merchandise labels or bank statements to customers who are blind. Count out change so that they know which bills are which.

If you serve food to a person who is blind, let him know where it is on the plate according to a clock orientation (twelve o'clock is furthest from them, six o'clock is nearest). Remove garnishes and anything that is not edible from the plate.

People With Low Vision

A person who has low vision may need written material in large print. A clear font with appropriate spacing is just as important as the type size. Labels and signs should be clearly lettered in contrasting colors. It is easiest for most people with low vision impairments to read bold white letters on black background.

Avoid using all uppercase letters because it is more difficult for people with low vision to distinguish the end of a sentence.

Good lighting is important, but it shouldn’t be too bright. In fact, very shiny paper or walls can produce a glare that disturbs people’s eyes.

Keep walkways clear of obstructions. If people with low vision regularly use your facility as customers or employees, inform them about any physical changes, such as rearranged furniture, equipment or other items that have been moved.