Giving And Receiving Directions; While Walking With A Sighted Guide

Instead of allowing others to grab onto you while you are walking with them, you will find that it is both safer and more comfortable for you to hold onto their arm. Let others know that this is your preference and demonstrate for them how this technique works.

Grasp their arm above the elbow gently but firmly. Walk slightly behind them so that you can follow their motions. Let them know that physical cues are usually all that are necessary to signal where they are going and that verbal explanations usually are not needed.

Tell others that if they think you might need assistance, they should simply ask if and how they can be helpful. Ask them not to make assumptions about your needs. By making this request, you are asking others for the same courtesy they would extend to anyone.

Let people know what type of information you wish to receive. Let them know that specific terms such as "right," "left," "north," and "west" are better than pointing or saying "over there." Ask clerks in stores to take you directly to the aisle and not to say "in aisle 4."

This tip is used by special permission from the Oregon Commission for the Blind:


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