If you follow social media, you may have noticed some initiatives to enlighten our fellow society members on how to interact with people who happen to be Blind/Visually Impaired. There was the “Just Ask, Don’t Grab” campaign by Dr. Amy Kavanagh and other people from the Blind and Visually Impaired community addressing incidents where sighted members of our society feel obligated to save the day for the presumably helpless blind person.
If you are out and about in the public sphere, chances are you’ve also encountered those people who take it upon themselves to determine what is best for you and have no idea how to assist and land up grabbing, insisting, demanding and upsetting you when they’re actually trying to help. Unsolicited help can be frustrating, distracting or even dangerous especially when focus on the environment is needed – crossing streets, navigating train platforms, ascending and descending stairs, to cite just a few examples.
Yes, sometimes those interactions can be useful, answering a question or confirming what we already know. And sometimes they can be an educational experience where we can teach society how best to engage with us in a manner that works for us. But sometimes the opposite can happen.
How do we negotiate these moments?
Lois Strachan, Author of “A Different Way of Seeing” and host of the podcast “A Different Way of Travelling”, and Jeff Thompson, Audio Producer and Host of the Blind Abilities podcasts, take on the tough questions surrounding the interaction between the sighted and Blind individuals.
A question we want you to answer is, “What 3 Golden Rules would you like for the sighted world to know when interacting with a person from the BVI community?”
In this Analysis Paralysis episode, we take a look at the entire picture and want to hear from you and your thoughts. Send us an email and let your voice join the conversation.
Stay up to date with Lois Strachan on her Facebook page, Lois Strachan – A Different Way of Seeing.
Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impairedand the Assistive Technology Community for the Blind and Visually Impaired.