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Guiding a blind or partially sighted person

The practical advice and information given here will help you feel confident about guiding people with sight loss.

Meeting, greeting and guiding

How do you introduce yourself to someone with sight loss? How do you support someone with sight loss 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 loss. If you see somebody 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 these sighted guide techniques in mind:

  • Introduce yourself and talk directly to the person you are guiding.
  • If you are going to guide them, ask them how they like to be guided.
  • 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" booklets for more detailed information on how to help blind and partially sighted people:

How to guide people with sight loss (PDF)

How to guide people with sight loss (Word)

Watch our guiding videos

Watch our videos of Giles and Dolly explaining how they like to be guided and give some helpful tips on sighted guide technique.

Guiding blind and partially sighted people – Giles video

Giles shares his tips on guiding video transcript (Word)

Guiding blind and partially sighted people – Dolly video

Dolly shares her tips on guiding video transcript (Word)