Ten Basic Courtesies For The Centrally Blind

1. Address us by name so that we know you are talking to us.
2. Speak directly to us, rather than through someone else.
3. Greet us by giving your name so that we recognize you.
4. Speak in a natural conversational tone. It is not necessary to speak loudly or to over-enunciate.
5. Feel free to use words that refer to vision. We also use the words “see,” “look,” “watch,” etc. And remember, we are not offended by the term “blind.”
6. Be calm and clear about what to do if you see us encountering a dangerous situation. Saying “stop,” for example, is better than saying, “watch out.”
7. If you think we need assistance, ask first. Don’t assume that help is needed.
8. When offering assistance, never take hold of us uninvited. Simply make the offer, and let it be our decision.
9. Never take hold of a white cane.
10. Never pet or distract a guide dog while it is on duty.
(Adapted by Dan Roberts, MD Support Director, from suggestions by Carl Augusto, President, American Federation for the Blind in NY, and David McGown, Executive Director, Guild for the Blind in Chicago. August 1999.)