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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Friends and Family

As a friend or relative of someone with impaired vision you play a key role in helping the person adjust to that condition. You are equally important as a partner in the process of vision rehabilitation.

Whether the problem occurs suddenly or gradually, it is bound to cause stress, anxiety, and vision-related physical limitations such as writing or driving. An understanding, supportive circle of friends and relatives can provide the foundation for building a "redesigned" life. The family's attitude can greatly influence the course of action.

If you consider the person's vision impairment in terms of a problem or series of problems (as opposed to a tragic event), the next logical step is to seek solutions. The thought itself is empowering; it assumes that there are answers to be found. The next step is to approach it as a team effort, with planning and decision making in the hands of the visually impaired person, assisted by others in the group plus specialists in the vision rehabilitation field.

Keep in mind that the most valuable help you can give is:

  • Encouraging self-reliance
  • Building self-confidence
  • Recognizing progress
  • Avoiding overprotectiveness

This section of AFB's web site includes a wide range of information about where to find professional help for a friend or relative and how to give emotional and practical support to that person.

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