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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss


Why do cashiers insist on handing my change to those with whom i am shopping I bought it! To those who shop with blind people, if you're sticking your hand out to take the change, or the receipt if a card is used... KNOCK IT OFF!

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Shame the dumbass cashier. Make him/her feel as embarrassed as possible for being such a moron.

Naw... that's bad P.R. I guess. It is tempting though. Sometimes nothing feels so good as a well-placed humiliation.

I too, get impatient with having to be both consumer and educator. This shouldn't be my job, I think to myself. Still, one never knows when the next blind person will have to interact with that cashier, so it's best to represent all of us intelligently and positively.

One thing I find myself doing over and over is askng the cashier to count the bills into my hand, identifying each. This often leads to a short conversation on how I keep my bills organized, so I can find the right denomination without assistance.

As a general rule, I never respond to the question "How much can you see?" from a sighted stranger. I have had to bite my tongue to resist answering, "I can see that you're a rude, uneducated buffoon."


I feel your pain. I got this rather a lot early on (about 20 years ago). It seems to have tapered off, though i still encounter the attitude at wal-mart.

I am generally polite, but firm. I simply request the cashier address me. if they refuse, I get on my cell phone and call the store management. Its amazing how fast someone cooperates when their boss is called over.

I used to work for a grocery store right down the street from me. Just about everyone in the neighborhood knows me and we still say hi whenever i am in the store.

every once in a while, they hire someone new and its always the same: they don't want to interact with me. I gave management there a heads up and now all new hires are given "handicap sensitivity training".

Sometimes it helps to know the right people. other times, just being assertive is enough. For those times with either of these conditions aren't met, just inform them "its my money, so why aren't you handing it to me?" That usually wakes them up to the fact they made a mistake and will usually correct it. In all cases, BE NICE.


I mentioned the dark glasses specifically for those of us who have no muscle control in our eyes, no light perception and may have our eyes closed without knowing it. Thank you for mentioning body language and facing the person to whom I am talking. Actually, I did take that for granted in my message and apologize for not mentioning how important it is to face the person you wish to have communicate with you, whether or not you see them. Again, thanks for pointing out these things.


hey thanks for the suggestions.
I will say though, my intent was more for finding like-minded people, and just venting. I wouldn't expect sighted cashiers to be reading a posting forum for visually impaired folks.
I would also hope that most of the people here wouldn't need to be reminded to conduct themselves with courtesy, though i understand the mention due to widespread behaviors to the contrary.
As for the dark glassess, (sigh) i prefer to demote stereotypes. It is easy for totally blind people to establish eye contact if they have any sense of awareness. In reality, all you have to do is point your countenance in the direction of his/her voice: the natural gravitation of a sighted person to another's eyes will do the rest.
take care


You may want to speak with any sighted person who accompanies you shopping. Please ask him or her to politely say to the cashier, "Please hand the change to (insert name)?" when this happens. By the way, I ask sighted folks to say "Ask her please. I don't know." when a waiter or waitress asks my sighted companion what dressing i want on my salad. Unfortunately, although it may help you feel better to write to this list, there are probably few cashiers reading it. So, if you shop somewhere often, you may want to say something to the sales people. Please do it politely or you will just sound like somebody throwing a tantrum. These people are probably ignorant rather than ill-intentioned. Whether you like it or not, many of them probably have never encountered a blind person before. Also, some people do not know what to do it they do not get eye contact from you. This may or may not be the case here since I have no idea of your vision. It does come into play for some of us. We do better with such people when we wear dark glasses. They seem to pqanic less.

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