Do’s and Don’ts

We wanted to create this page because we have found that when out and about people either do things which make Cal feel uncomfortable or are just plain rude, other people worry too much about what they should and shouldn’t do as well. So, we thought we’d try to give a few basic do’s and don’ts which obviously will be different for everyone but it’s worth a try.

DON’T – Drag a visually impaired person across the road.

Most visually impaired people are nervous about crossing roads so having someone just drag them across when they aren’t certain it is safe is just going to upset them even more, and what if they didn’t even want to cross in the first place? Obviously people are just trying to help, but DO ask first. If the person accepts your help, hold out your arm to the person so they can take hold of your elbow or shoulder.

DON’T – Talk to the visually impaired person through someone else.

This happens so often people will say things like “Jess, is Cal okay?” or “Jess, what does Cal want to drink?”. Visually impaired people can talk to you, we understand that it’s just something people do but it makes the visually impaired person feel rubbish and that’s not fair.

DO – feel free to ask if someone needs help if they’re looking lost or confused.

If someone is just walking along then they most likely don’t need your help but don’t worry about asking if a visually impaired person needs help. More often than not this is considered lovely and I feel much more comfortable knowing there are a lot of lovely, helpful people out there.

DO – allow visually impaired people to get to the control (the button) at a crossing.

Not all crossings beep when the crossing is green. However, they all have a small cone shaped piece of plastic on the bottom of the box for the button. This cone shaped piece of plastic spins when it is safe to cross. If the visually impaired person can’t get to the box then they will not know if it is safe to cross unless someone tells them. A lot of the time nobody does tell them and therefore they can end up waiting at the crossing for a long time because they don’t even know if the people are still there or not. This is why you should let them get to the control.

DO – move out of the way if possible.

If someone is visually impaired they are unlikely to know that you are there. We tend to find that when Cal is using his cane people jump out of the way which just makes him feel bad so it’s best to just move to one side (and safer!) but there’s no need to panic. On the other hand if Cal is walking with his guide dog Iggy then people tend to just walk at him and Iggy and not move as if it’s okay because it’s not going to hurt like it would if they walk into the cane. This is so unfair and has knocked both of their confidences before now so please try your best to move out of the way. Yes, the guide dog will go around you but only if there is room and if not then they will stop but don’t walk into the dog because it has stopped in front of you because you’re walking at them.