Guiding a blind or partially sighted person
The practical advice and information given here will help you feel confident about guiding people with sight problems.
Meeting, greeting and guiding
How do you introduce yourself to someone with a sight problem? How do you support someone with a sight problem in getting around within buildings and outside? Each person's experience is different and unique and there are no hard and fast rules on how to assist people with sight problems. If you see somebody with a sight problem who you think may need help, then ask. Let them tell you what kind of help they need. It may be that they need help crossing the road or finding the train station.
If your help is needed, keep a few common-sense things in mind:
- Introduce yourself and talk directly to the person you are guiding.
- If you are going to guide them, let them take your arm, don't grab theirs.
- Tell them about kerbs and steps as you approach them and say whether they go up or down.
- Mention any potential hazards that lie ahead and say where they are.
- If you are guiding someone into a seat, place their hand on the back of the seat before they sit down, so they can orientate themselves.
- Don't walk away without saying you are leaving.
Download one of our "How to Guide" documents for more detailed information about guiding blind and partially sighted people:
- How to guide (PDF, 400 KB)
- How to guide (Word, 24 KB)
- How to guide wheelchair (Word, 297 KB)
- Sight problems guide (Word, 165 KB)
- Sight problems guide (PDF, 583 KB)
Watch our guiding videos
Watch our videos of Giles and Dolly explaining how they like to be guided and give some helpful tips on how to guide a blind or partially sighted person.
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