Verbal Direction

One way to help someone like me who has low vision: give information verbally and with some detail. I might miss silent gesturing, facial expressions, and other nonverbal communication.

And please, use my name if we have not talked yet, we are in a group or if I might mistake your comment to be for a cell phone chat.

Do not say, “Go this way.”
Instead offer, “Susan, follow me to the left.”

Do not say, “The living room is crowded.”
Instead explain, “Susan: Mark, Jill and Tony are standing and talking on the right. Jim is sitting on the stool in front of us. And if you want to sit, there’s a chair next to Jill.”

More information allows me to orient myself to a space faster.

Some other things to consider:

If you want to shake my hand, you could say, “I’m offering my hand to shake.” It might seem strange, but you’re just letting me know information.

If you want to hand me something, you could say, “Susan, I want to give you the box of DVDs. There are handles on the side.” The item might be in my blind spot or I might not see you offering it to me silently. A verbal cue helps.

We all make adjustments to our situations. How do you communicate despite a disability or tough environment?


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Trisha says:

    Great instructions! It’s always good to know how to help someone. Sometimes I could use the same kind of verbal guidance. Brain fog makes me sometimes miss importance social cues. Like everyone could be getting their wallet out to pay for something and I just sit there, totally oblivious.

    1. Thanks, Trisha. Communicating allows things to go so much smoother. You could make a great list up of tips to lessen the impact of Brain Fog.

  2. Interesting points. For instance, in restaurants I tell waiters I have VI and find most people really helpful in explaining menus and what is being served. It takes the pressure off companions and helps me to feel more independent.

    1. Great suggestion, Bridget.

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