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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Etiquette

"Etiquette" may seem a rather formal term to describe the give and take of our interactions with friends and family; but it really is just another way of describing the thoughtful, considerate behavior that we expect to receive from others and give to them.

Until a friend or relative becomes visually impaired, you may never have known anyone who could not see well or at all. So you had no reason, or at least no immediate need, to think about the subtle differences between considerate behavior toward a sighted person and someone with limited vision.

These aren't major differences—the same affection, politeness and thoughtfulness apply—but there are several basic ground rules that will make your day-to-day contacts with a friend or relative who is visually impaired easier, more relaxed, and truly helpful. This section outlines the key points to keep in mind when you are with someone whose vision is impaired, including:

  • Acting as a sighted guide
  • Respecting the person's ability to do things for himself or herself
  • Giving directions
  • Speaking directly
  • Maintaining a conversation

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