for Friends of those with Low Vision

(From my experience)

Cartoon courtesy of Sighted Guiding / Guide Dogs for the Blind

1. Don’t mollycoddle me. Encourage me  to be independent and self-confident, especially in everyday tasks. I might need a push (not a physical one!).

2. Don’t be afraid to ask if I need help. But it the answer is “no,” respect my wishes. (I don’t want to have to fight you off!).

2. Offer to drive or me to complete my errands once a week. Be dependable.

3. Identify yourself. Don’t assume that I know you by the sound of your voice, especially when I’m out in public.

4. Continue to use your body language. This will affect the tone of your voice and give me extra information.

5. In a group situation, introduce all the other people present. Otherwise, I might get surprised!

6. It’s always helpful when directing conversation in a group to say the name of the person you’re talking to so that I can follow the conversation better.

7. Never channel conversation through a third person. Talk directly to me!

8. Use everyday language. Don’t avoid words like “see” or “look” or discussing typical activities like watching television. I don’t mind at all.

9. Become familiar with the role of “sighted guide.” Let me take your arm. Never grab my wrist, shoulder or any part of my cane.

10. Be a good listener and sounding board. Don’t be critical.

11. Speak in a normal tone of voice unless I’m having a bad hearing day.  Most vision-impaired people hear just fine.

12. Don’t worry about dinner. I’ll have normal table skills. (But I may knock over a glass of water!)

13. Volunteer to go with me to my doctor’s appointments. Sometimes I can’t hear.

14. Never leave the room or me without letting me know – I may be talking to you!

15. Help me to see humor in my situation. But never laugh at or make fun of me.

16. Don’t leave a door or cabinet door open around me! It’s dangerous!

17. Use accurate information when giving directions. For example, the door is on your left. Don’t say, “it’s right there.” and please avoid pointing!


You have read 17 Tips for Friends of Visually-Impaired. Copyright Amy Bovaird August 2014.  Did any of them surprise you? If so, which one (s)? So you have any tips to add? If so, please add them in the Comments! If you liked this post, please LIKE, comment and / or share it in your community.  Thanks!

17 Tips for Friends of those with Low Vision
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4 thoughts on “17 Tips for Friends of those with Low Vision

  • August 30, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I really appreciated this post. You had a lot of practical, good advice. Thank you.

  • August 30, 2014 at 12:57 am

    So glad you found it helpful,Anne!
    When I was looking for ways to communicate better with my friends, I found the tip about body language and the lack of it changing the way people came across. I thought that was kind of strange but I realized with it, I understood better even though I couldn’t see that well! I think with body language people emphasized themselves more, becoming clearer communicators!
    Thanks again!

  • August 30, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Amy
    I think tip 6 is excellent. This was a well thought out article actually. All the tips are great.It is good to know that I should offer help as I have been in a situation where I was unsure of what to do.
    I know that you are a very positive person and you will cope with your vision loss. I admire your positive spirit, I have never heard you complain about your loss of vision- ever. You are awesome!!
    Keep smiling!

  • August 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you so much, Carron!
    We need to catch up! I’ll write you today!

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