Blind man walking!

blindmanAnd so you see a blind man walking on the sidewalk, he could have a White Cane or a Guide Dog.

Do you…

  1. Stare, act astonished…
  2. Ask him if he is lost…
  3. Ask him if he needs help…
  4. If you are walking towards him, veer to one side, giving him lots of room…
  5. If you are walking towards him: cut across his path at the last second because you were too engrossed in a YouTube video you were watching…
  6. If you and him are walking towards the same point: rush to get there first, trying to outrun that swishing cane…
  7. If he is coming around a corner and catching you unaware: jump over cane or try to get out of his way by rushing across his path…
  8. If he is coming up behind you and you are lollygagging: act surprised that he walked past you quickly…
  9. If he is coming up behind you and you are preoccupied talking to someone on your cellphone: get furious at him because he bumped into you…
  10. If he has a guide dog, you stop him and ask if you can pet the dog…

The answer to all of these is situations can be summed up with one simple rule: Do Nothing!  Let me explain.

  • Do not stare, or act astonished.  It is part of western culture to not stare, its impolite.  Besides, he can’t see you staring anyways, being blind and all!
  • Do not ask if he is lost, he might be getting his bearings, because going from dark to light area can be difficult.  Adjustments take a few minutes…
  • If he needs help, he will ask!  This is especially important when he is shopping!  He will find what he is looking for, at his own pace.
  • Situations 4, 5, 6 & 7… Please keep walking towards him, or with him, at a normal, unrushed pace. Do not try to outrun him, cut in front of him or jump to the side.  Don’t try to jump his cane.  YOU might get!  Keep calm & walk on.  I’ll come back to this further down.
  • Situations 8 & 9… There are two types of white cane tips: one is a roller, and the other is a tapper.  The roller, or ball tip, is smoother, rolling across the ground; it hardly makes any noise.  While the tapper, or pencil tip, also called marshmallow tip, is designed to be tapped by the blind person.  Tap tap tap, back and forth, directly in front of the blind guy as he walks.  It is makes noise so that you, the non-blind person, can hear him approaching.  But, do not act surprised, or mad if he bumps into you.  He might not have seen you, or misjudged the distant between you and the barrier beside you.
  • And finally, do not pet a Service Dog of any kind!  They are working!  Yes, sure, they may be cute and you love dogs.  If you pet a service dog, their natural instincts to receive affect kick in, thereby distracting the dog, and the blind person.  Simply ignore the dog!

I am now stepping onto an imaginary soapbox, putting on my sternest face…

GET OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE WHILE WALKING ACROSS THE INTERSECTION!  LIKE COME ON!   I have walked into countless people because they were so engrossed in their phone that they could not put it down, even while crossing a busy 10 lane intersection!  DO YOU HAVE EYES ON THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD?!

Stepping of the soapbox, ahem!

About cutting across the blind man’s path; With me being Deaf-Blind and ataxic, if you cut me off, I am likely to veer quickly to the side, and that could, no it would, cause me to lose balance and fall.  In other words, if you were walking and someone stuck out their foot, you would trip, right?  Even if your reactions are quicker than Roland Deschain (The Black Tower), you would still trip!

Please share and share!

Thank you and have a great Day!

One thought on “Blind man walking!

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