Support Groups

Assisting People with Vision Loss

  • Approach: if you suspect someone may need a hand, walk up, greet them and identify yourself.
  • Ask: "Would you like some help?" The person will accept your offer or tell you if they don't require assistance.
  • Assist: listen to the reply and assist as required. Not all people who are blind or vision impaired will want assistance - don't be offended if your assistance is not required. Address people who are blind or have low vision by their names so they know you are speaking to them.

  • Let the person who is blind or have low vision know that you have entered the room.
  • Do not walk away from a person who is blind or have low vision without indicating that you are doing so - it is embarrassing and frustrating to talk to thin air.
  • Let the person who is blind or have low vision take your arm as described in the sighted guide fact sheet.
  • In dangerous situations say "STOP" rather than "LOOK OUT!"
  • Do not relocate objects or furniture without telling the person who is blind or has low vision.
  • Do not fill glasses or cups to the brim.
  • Use ordinary language when directing or describing and be specific. Do not point, or say "over there". Direct people who are blind or have low vision to their left and right, not yours.
  • Use words like "look" and "see"; they are part of everyone's vocabulary. Otherwise both you and the person who is who is blind or have low vision will feel awkward.
  • Describe the surroundings and obstacles in a person's pathway (remember to look up as well as down). Warn of the presence of over-hangs, such as kitchen cupboards, jutting side mirrors of cars, or trees.
  • Do not leave doors ajar. Close them or open them fully.
  • Be aware that the person who is blind or has low vision will be disadvantaged by not seeing what is going on. Therefore talk about what is happening.
  • Ask people who are blind or have low vision what they want or need. Do not direct questions through their companion.
  • If people who are blind or have low vision extend their hands to shake, do so.
  • When seating people who are blind or have low vision, put their hands on the back of the chair and they will then be able to seat themselves.
  • How to Communicate with Someone who is Blind

    • Don’t feel overly conscious or obsess about being politically correct when talking to someone who is blind.
    • People who are blind are generally not offended by words like “see,” “look,” and “watch” in everyday conversation.
    • There’s also no need to avoid using the words “blind” or “visually impaired”. Don’t tip-toe around it.
    • Whenever possible, try to use “people first” language, such as “people who are blind” rather than “blind people” or “the blind”.
    • It’s perfectly acceptable to use descriptive language, such as making reference to colors, patterns, designs and shapes.
    • Don’t speak in an exaggeratedly loud voice or talk down to a person who is blind.
    • Direct questions or comments directly to the person who is blind or visually impaired, not to someone they are with.
    • Avoid pointing to objects or people; instead, verbalize by saying, “It’s on your left.”
    • Identify yourself when someone who is blind or visually impaired enters a room or when you are approaching the person. For example, say, “Hi, Joe. It’s Emily.”
    • If you’re in a group, try to address a person who is visually impaired by name so that he or she knows who you’re talking to.
    • Introduce a blind person to other people in the room, such as in a meeting or at a lunch table.
    • When leaving a room, it’s courteous to let a blind person know that you are leaving.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask a person if he or she needs help; if the answer is no, respect his or her wishes.
    • People who are blind don’t have “superhuman” senses of hearing, touch or smell; they’ve simply learned to get more information from these other senses because they rely on them more.
    • People who are blind probably don’t want your pity, but chances are, they’d like to feel like a part of the team at their job just like anybody else. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.

    Via The Chicago Lighthouse

    Eye Diseases



    Taking care of your sight is the first step in preventing blindness. Here are some ways to prevent vision loss:

    • Schedule regular eye exams
    • Tell your doctor if you notice any changes in your vision
    • Learn about your family's medical history and get checked for any genetic disorders you may carry
    • Avoid eyestrain from the computer - change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections
    • Wear sunglasses and protective eyewear
    • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet
    • Refrain from smoking

    Living healthy is the best way to prevent blindness. Yet some vision loss is unavoidable, especially as we age. Contact us to learn how you can maximize your remaining vision, and continue to live the life you want.


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    Brookline, MA 02446

    799 West Boylston Street
    Worcester, MA 01606
    • Toll Free 888-613-2777
    • Fax 508-854-0733

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