Ten Tips for Family and Friends of People with Vision Loss

Guest Blogger, Priscilla Rogers, Ph.D. posted the following tips on the American Foundation for the Blind's Blog.

Here are ten tips for family and friends of people with vision loss. Please share others that come to mind:

  1. Learn all you can about your relative's vision loss; different types of eye conditions affect vision in varying ways. For example, some people can see to get around but not see people's faces. Others lose their side vision but have some central vision.

  2. Learn about resources, techniques and products that can help your relative continue to carry out everyday tasks and enjoyable activities independently.

  3. Talk directly to the person with vision loss instead of "around" him or her.

  4. Don't walk away without telling the person you are leaving.

  5. Communicate verbally instead of through gestures that cannot be seen.

  6. Don't move things around in the persons' home without asking.

  7. Give clear and specific directions. Remember the person may not be able to see where you are pointing.

  8. Identify yourself to the person. He or she may not be able to see your face and may not recognize your voice. Don't embarrass your family member of friend by making him guess who you are.

  9. Ask first before helping. Expect that your relative will want to do as much as he or she can do independently.

  10. Ask your relative to continue to help you as he or she always has-with babysitting, pet sitting, taxes, or a good listening ear. We all like to feel needed and having vision problems does not make a person any less capable of providing help and support.

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