B-inclusive – education for all

Someone asks whether or not a defined or distinct blind culture exists analogous to "deaf culture“. Blind people have no problem communicating with other speakers. Braille is not a language since it is used to write any language. It is merely a tactile method of writing. And, as you can see, blind people have no difficulty using a computer to communicate in written language. Blind people do not congregate in living groups or in order to enjoy a shared lifestyle, religion, political outlook, or any other similarity of experience that holds a cultural group together. Today you will find blind people in every walk of life and at every social and economic level of any society.

Blind people do, however, still share the fallout from certain kinds of discrimination. Blind people have a 74 percent unemployment rate, not because they are unable to work, but because people presume they unable to do so and will not give them the chance to prove them wrong. Only 10 percent of blind children are taught to read Braille, not because 90 percent of them are unable to learn it, but because many parents of these youngsters don't want to admit that their children would benefit from being taught to do so, and many teachers, even teachers trained to instruct blind children, do not know Braille or do not know it very well and avoid teaching it as often as they can do so. When you consider that about 85 percent of the blind adults who are employed are fluent Braille readers, you can see that not teaching blind children to read and write Braille is close to criminal and discrimination of a fundamental kind.

Blind people have created consumer organizations to fight these injustices and to try to protect blind children and their parents and newly blind people from suffering the impact of such discrimination. They often enjoy each other's company, and They certainly spend time together working on the problems that face what they often call the "blind community," but this community is not different from an actual culture.

An increasing number of blind students and students with sight impairments are deciding to take up various kind of studies. At the same time, since their disability is considered especially serious, attitudes often characterised by compassion may arise, in turn leading to avoidance of contact. For blind students and students with sight impairments such attitudes are not only unpleasant, but also incomprehensible. We should therefore make an effort to treat them in the same way as others, while providing them with ready help whenever necessary.

The consequences of lack of sight are experienced by blind people both in everyday life - in getting about, interacting with others, etc. -and in the case of activities typically academic - such as participation in lectures and classes, access to textbooks and teaching materials, etc. It is therefore important that people having contact with blind students and students with sight impairments should possess necessary information relating to the specifics of their disability.

The rights of students with disabilities include:

      participation in courses /studies to the same degree as other students,

      access to written and oral information (library collections, notice boards, lectures),

      the same verification of knowledge and skills as in the case of other students (the same examinations),

      confidentiality of medical data,

      Negotiated adjustments and changes in the course of studies.

Visual impairment occurs very different.

Therefore, the only sure path to a good studies organizing is that educator put up the participant to inform him/her about the student’s needs. Is preferably that this consultation will be before the start of the educational processes.

Here you will find some information about some specialties of life of blind/visually impaired persons.

To enable a blind student to put his / her signature on a paper, the educator should indicate the appropriate place through guiding of the hand,

The student should have the possibility to use help of a personal assistant during the whole education process.

Students applying to courses/studies should be able to present some documentation of their condition. There is no necessity for the medical documentation containing a detailed diagnosis, but it should provide a detailed description of the implications of the disability for the student's course of studies, as well as information on the treatment applied. On the basis of such information it will be possible to determine the most effective solutions suited to the student's needs. For example, The fact, that a student has been taking medicines lowering their ability to read low letters, it will be possible to request a providing of courses/studies material n big prints for the student.

All documents should be either originals or certified copies.

If a student cannot supply medical documentation, or brings documentation that is incomplete, or does not support the information from the interview carried out with the student, the student may be asked to consult a specialist doctor in order to complete such documentation.

Respecting the rights, autonomy and privacy of students with disabilities, the assistance should be offered only to those who decide to apply for such help and provide documentation.

Each applicant should be individually interviewed about their medical condition and academic situation.

In such way education provider / educator could discuss with the student about the best solution for their courses/studies.

Getting about and transport

Blind persons and persons with sight impairments usually get about with the aid of a white cane or a guide dog. Some may not use any aids, however. A considerable majority of students are able to reach the venue of their lectures and classes on their own.

If we want to extend help to a blind person or a person with sight impairment, we should first ask them. Such persons know very well what kind of help they need and are able to specify it, so it is better that we do not decide by ourselves.

When leading a blind person one should not walk with them arm in arm or push them in front of us. Rather, we should allow them to hold our arm - just above the elbow. This way of holding a blind person ensures their full control of the situation, as well as offering a feeling of security and freedom.

In our contacts with a person with a sight disability we should behave in a perfectly natural way, albeit not ignoring the fact that our interlocutor either lacks sight or is visually impaired.

Whenever people who are talking to a blind person are about to stop the conversation and leave, they should inform the blind person of their intention to do so. A realization that one has been talking to oneself for a period of time may be a particularly unpleasant experience for a blind person.

People with visual impairments and internet

To operate a computer they can use two tools: a screen reader application (speech synthesizer) or Braille displays / monitors.

Since Braille reading lines are very expensive tools screen readers (e.g. in Lithuania – JAWS for Windows) are much more popular. However, in the case when a blind person has also hearing impairment, Braille reading line is the only tool that allows to fully operate a computer. Braille reading line can translate only one line; but the tool of the future hopefully will become a Braille display, which may convert into Braille the entire site one is browsing.

For people with visual impairments websites should be of simple structure, with a consistent and constant menu. These users are experiencing serious difficulties if websites which they often use (e-mail, e-banking) structure is constantly changing or updating.

People with visual impairments face image understanding problems as their Web browsing technologies –screen readers – cannot get the information from the images. That is why each image carrying information should have a text explanation or so-called alt text which is not visible on the screen but the screen reader can read it.

It is also recommended to avoid writing text on the images as for visually impaired it will be too hard to read and for screen reader difficult to "understand." If the picture is only a design object it should stay invisible for the screen reading programs as excess information.

On the main part of the site flash solutions should be avoided. It is important to sort out the tables (especially large) TH. Italic font is also more difficult to read while the highlighted (bold) font is suitable for use links or headings only.

To make the site accessible for the blind it is necessary to keep the information clear and site’s structure simple as the screen reading program works according to the sole principle – down the column – despite the design.

The main structural blocks, such as Menu, Search or Content should be separated by "Area landmark” elements, and the consequent titles designation should be used applying „Heading " tags.

In order to speed up the navigation, it should be possible to select shortcut keys to the main or additional menu items.

It is proposed is to assign a keyboard shortcut, for example Search "alt + s" to form of questionnaire fields.

It is necessary to use labels at the questionnaire boxes to make it clear what information needs to be entered in the appropriate box, or where to enter a keyword to perform search on the site.

If possible it is recommended to avoid Java solutions when designing the sites, as java solutions may require additional computer configuration; depending on the skills of every unique user this may cause the situation when user cannot reach the needed information.

In order to design accessible web sites community of the disabled encourages cooperation with the developers very much. Only those developers, familiar with the limitations caused by the disability and measures to compensate it have the holistic overview and can suggest the best possible solutions to overcome environmental barriers.

For the visually impaired who use screen magnifiers it is easier to navigate on the Web pages if they have the possibility to set prorate (relative) font size rather than in absolute terms. Visually impaired users can not realize or overlook information if at least one of the following attributes is used improperly: contrast, size, font, brightness, etc. to provide more possibilities for special need users it is recommended to use multiple attributes e.g., if a chart is performed in one color it should be possible to view it in another color or in white and black.

For color blind users contrasting color combinations are very helpful. One of the best practices to evaluate color solutions of the site: http://www.jpaget.nhs.uk/

How to serve students with sight disabilities

In our contacts with a person with a sight disability we should behave in a perfectly natural way, albeit not ignoring the fact that our interlocutor either lacks sight or is visually impaired.

Whenever people who are talking to a blind person are about to stop the conversation and leave, they should inform the blind person of their intention to do so. A realization that one has been talking to oneself for a period of time may be a particularly unpleasant experience for a blind person.

When a person is talking with blind person, he/she at first must introduce him/herself. When a blind student or a student with sight impairment are addressed during discussions in which a

Larger number of persons take part (e.g. motivation discussion), their name should always be pronounced clearly and loudly first. 

To increase the students’’ self-relation will inform about the studies place before the studies

Spatial orientation

In order to become acquainted with the topography of the formal/non-formal education providers’ premises, blind students and students with sight impairments could request the services of a spatial orientation instructor. The services do not include teaching independent mobility skills; the instructor only gives temporary support with learning the topography of the education providers’ premises. formal/non-formal education providers do not provide any permanent assistance to blind students and students with sight impairments in getting around.

There could be provided tactile map of education buildings.

Doors tables with braille writings with rooms; numbers, lecturers’/teachers’ names are welcome.

Describe surroundings

When describing the person's surroundings, try to be specific. Rather than saying, 'there is a spare seat to your right', it might be more helpful to say 'the seat next to you, on your right, is occupied but the next seat along is vacant'.

Environmental accessibility

The formal / non-formal education providers could not know if the person with disabilities will show interest to study in their establishment.

To prevent various misunderstandings, the following may be foreseen:

The steps of buildings should be marked with yellow reflective tapes.

  1. Use masking tape to form a straight line 50-75mm from the front edge of the tread for the entire width of each step.
  2. Use masking tape to form a straight line at the front edge of the riser.

Paint between masking tape strips with contrasting paint. Dark steps will require a light color, such as white or yellow and light steps require dark paint. Road marking paint is ideal; however your hardware store can suggest something suitable.

 

Consideration should be given to fitting permanent stair nosing’s (aluminum caps with a color infill), particularly on internal staircases.

Poles should be contrasted against their background to avoid potential collision.

Recommendation 1: the whole pole is painted so that contrast is achieved

If the background surface is a dark shade, the pole should be a light shade such as white or yellow. If the background surface is a light shade, the pole should be a dark shade such as black.

Recommendation 2: add contrasting bands not less than 75 mm wide

One band should be placed on the pole between 900 – 1000mm* from the ground. Additional bands should be added at 200mm intervals above or below the 900mm bands as required. Bands at a lower height will be of particular importance in environments where there are younger children or students.

The numbers of rooms / classrooms should be indicated in large print. It would be better if the yellow number would be allocated in black background. Braille is also preferable. 

Study process

Guiding dog

Remember – guiding dog is not only pleasure or whim. Guide Dogs assist blind and visually impaired people by avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps, and negotiating traffic. The harness and U-shaped handle fosters communication between the dog and the blind partner. In this partnership, the human’s role is to provide directional commands, while the dog’s role is to insure the team’s safety even if this requires disobeying an unsafe command.

Labrador and Golden Retrievers and German Shepherd dogs and other large breeds are carefully bred, socialized and raised for over one year by volunteers, then trained for 4 to 6 months by professional trainers before being placed with their blind and visually impaired handlers.

It is recommended to discuss about guide dogs possibility to guide the student during the educational process.

Use internet for informing and material providing. Prepare the materiali n advance and share it.

Students should have the possibility to inform formal / non-formal education providers about his/her needs in advance through ICT or in writing.

Materials/leaflets about possible courses/studies, agreements with students should be prepared beforehand in a form accessible to a blind student or a student with a sight impairment - the print should be appropriately enlarged, or it should be transformed into a Braille printout or computer text file.

Common examples of disability-related support that students find useful are:

• Technology – special software such as mind mapping and voice recognition software, training in how to use it and a computer with specialized accessories to match students ‘needs;

• Personal support – a person to help for student to make notes or help in the library, someone to assist in the premises;

• Study arrangements – extra support for planning assignments, reading lists in advance and accessible study materials, extra time.

Information availability

Nowadays all the information about possibilities to education is normally published on the establishment’s website.

There we can find the information about possible courses or studies.

The first step, is to ensure that websites of education providers are accessible for persons with disabilities and the information in the websites is clear and understandable.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) is a stable, referenced technical standard. It has 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust:

1. Perceivable

1.1. Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.

1.2. Provide alternatives for time-based media.

1.3. Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.

1.4. Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

2 Operable

2.1. Make all functionality available from a keyboard.

2.2. Provide users enough time to read and use content.

2.3. Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.

2.4. Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

3          Understandable

3.1. Make text content readable and understandable.

3.2. Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

3.3. Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

4          Robust

4.1. Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA:

A-level criteria (5) - Developers must comply with them;

AA level criteria (13) - Developers should follow them;

AAA (23 criteria) - Developers can comply with them.

Each of the criteria are to be implemented in certain technology.

All the websites should follow AA level criteria if the education providers want that information provided in their websites would be easy and understandable for all.

Good introduction is important!

Here it is very important for persons who are blind. It is recommended to do that during seminars/workshops and other courses where are participating small (until 15) number of persons.

Every participant should introduce himself/herself by the mane. This will help for student with blindness or visual impairments to know where every participant is and will connect the voice with his/her name. This method is helpful for other participants too. It will help to other participants to remember each other names.

Make clear and good presentations

Oral support during slide viewing: When you introduce yourself, explain the format of the session, when you will take questions (ie during the session or at the end). Make it clear if you are prepared to be interrupted to be asked to explain something. It is helpful if all text presented on slides is read aloud by the presenter because for some low vision people sitting in the front of the audience, text and figures will still be too small and normal sighted people, in the rear of a large audience, may also have the same problem.

Figures and graphs should be explained because low vision people reading with a monocular, people with tunnel vision and slow readers, in the back of the audience, may have difficulty in orientating themselves to find where to start reading or viewing.

The presenter should explicitly mention the region of interest in the slide. Although pointing with a small light arrow to the region of interest is helpful for fully sighted people, it is not sufficient for those with low vision or a restricted viewing field, since it cannot be identified quickly. It is helpful to explain the slide in an expressive manner so that the audience understands where to look. For example:

‘On the screen you see a diagram with four blocks. The block in the lower right corner …’

Be aware that some parts of a figure, for example, the legend of a bar graph are always difficult to interpret, even for people with normal vision. So another expressive description of a slide is recommended, for example:

‘On this slide the results are summarized in a bar graph. The bars on the left hand side display the data of the experimental condition; the bars on the right hand side …’

You should be aware that not everyone in the audience is able to read a long text. So read the text, slowly and clearly. Don’t skip any word and be sure that everyone who wants to read themselves has time before you move on to the next slide. If a long text is very important, for example a definition of an essential concept, refer to the handout for later re-reading.

Please always distribute Handouts before the presentation, especially to low vision and dyslexic participants, copies of your slides together with important information that will not be presented on the slides. Handouts offered at the beginning of the session can be a useful point of reference and will tell the audience if further notes need to be taken. 

Be aware that color is lost in grey tone prints. This is another reason to use brightness contrast as the basic technique to contrast text and figures from the background. Be sure that you have enough full page copies of your slides for people with reading difficulties.

If you display it, say it. Imagine that you were hearing your own presentation on the radio, would it make sense and would you fully understand all the information that was being put across?

When talking through your PowerPoint presentations to your audience, use nouns. Pronouns on their own, as in: This leads to that, which is better than the other, is as good as a car without petrol.

Physical exercises

Go from less difficult to more difficult skills and breakdown skills into three component parts. (Example: Catching a ball: Bounce the student the ball a short distance away. Gradually increase the distance, but eliminate the bounce. Then increase the distance again.)

Limit space-this allows for greater involvement for the blind/visual impaired student without greatly changing the experience for the sighted participants. Slow the action.

Modify the environment-Use colored balls, mats, cones and goals. Rubber surfaces on he flor, etc. SAFETY. Familiarize a visually impaired or blind student with any hazards. Show student the safest routes to and from the various areas. Always keep verbal contact with the visually impaired/blind student. Ensure safety rules are known and followed by all students. Try to ensure lighting conditions match the needs of the visually impaired student. In unfamiliar surroundings, student may be disoriented and lack confidence. The teacher may need to establish an understanding of the activity and the safety precautions needed. Where necessary provide one-to-one or small group support. Alert student to the location of any obstacle–such as goal-posts–in open areas, on floor, and at head height. Bright sunlight or dark days may alter the student’s visual functioning.

In conclusion, well-planned physical exercises that utilize appropriate equipment maximize a person’s abilities and minimize any special challenges they may face. Adapting an exercise or activity increases the opportunity for fun, skill development and self-confidence. Learning a new sport or recreational activity improves the quality of a person’s life that has a visual impairment and creates a general sense of well being and competence.

Get basic knowledge of accompanying technique and mobility

Services for blind students and students with sight impairments

Computers and ICT

The basic tool used by students with sight disabilities today is the personal computer. Both blind students and students with sight impairments use standard computers with supplementary software, or equipped with additional devices such as Braille printers or displays.

The application of adaptive software allows for writing, reading, the use of e-mails and the Internet, even when vision loss is total or substantial. Peripheral devices allow for the reading of standard texts or for their printing out in Braille.

Computers adapted to the needs of blind students usually has additional screen-reading software installed on them. Some of the formal/non-formal education providers’ computers could be equipped with the Window-Eyes and Jaws software as well as a speech synthesizer - either a separate external device or an internal one based on the computer's sound card. Such additional software and hardware enables a blind person to work independently - to read the text on the computer screen, to edit documents and prepare papers in standard print. Scanning devices and text recognition software allow blind students to read texts which have already been printed - books, newspapers and magazines, or handouts given by the educator during classes. Students with visual impairment usually opt to use large computer screens (of 19-21 inches), which allow for proper enlargement of the text. Text magnification software - such as ZoomText or Lunar - can additionally be applied to enlarge any pre-selected part of the screen. Furthermore, some computers have software allowing for the choice of colours most suitable for a given type of sight impairment. Students with sight impairments can also use TV screen magnifiers to read printed text in selected enlargement or in the choice of colours suitable for a given impairment. The device transmits the image of the text from a connected camera onto its own, or a computer's display.

All these facilities could be available at the following computers fitted for the needs of students with disabilities: workstations, standard and Braille printers, TV screen magnifiers, magnifying and Braille copiers,

Alternative learning materials

Alternatives to traditional print allow blind students and students with sight impairments to read the same texts as other students. The alternatives include audio recordings, computer text files, Braille and enlarged print. It is welcomed if education provider would offer the following services:

1. Recordings of books and other printed texts

Some texts provide Digital Libraries, come text could make education provider itself.

2. Computer text files

Materials in a computer text file format allow a blind student to:

a)    print the material in Braille,

b)    )use a speech synthesizer to listen to the material,

c)     cuse a Braille display to read the material.

To obtain reading material as a computer text file, the material has to be retyped (a less common practice) or scanned by a standard scanning device and then converted to a text format using text recognition software (scanned images are transmitted to a computer before the text is analysed and converted to text files). Due to imperfections in the printed text, some text files require long hours of correction after scanning.

This service is recommended especially to those teachers who have a blind student in their groups.

3. Reading materials in Braille

Unfortunately, the Braille alphabet (until recently the only medium allowing the blind to read and write independently) is now being used less often. The main reason for the decreasing popularity of Braille is the fact that Braille-based devices (e.g. Braille displays, Braille printers or Braille notepads) are significantly more expensive than devices based on text-to-speech synthesis technology. Speech synthesis are usually faster and require less effort on the part of the user. However, the use of nothing but speech synthesizers has serious disadvantages; contributing to incorrect spelling and punctuation and careless layout of the text.. In view of rapid technological advancements, Braille has become useful in new contexts and remains an invaluable tool for educated people.

Some Digital Libraries or Libraries for Blind provides services for text printing in Braille.

Converting a printed text into Braille requires more time and effort, as the text has to be first scanned or retyped. The service can be used, not only by blind students, but also by teachers who have students in their groups using Braille.

4. Magnified reading materials

Enlarged print enables students with sight impairments independent reading. The following should be borne in mind as magnified copies of a text are being prepared: (1) proper adjustment of the size of the font to the type of the sight disability, (2) the ensuring of proper contrast between the font and the background, (3) clear layout of the text.

As the use of computer technology has become widespread, anyone who has some text editing skills can actually produce magnified printouts for the needs of students with sight impairments. Magnified printouts can be obtained from any computer text file document.

If a document has been created in a standard text editing programme, producing a magnified copy is merely a matter of changing and enlarging the font. Graphically simple fonts are recommended, such as Arial, Tahoma or Verdana. Usually the optimal recommended size of the font is between 16 and 18 points. However, in view of the fact that individual differences in sight disabilities are quite considerable, the size and type of the font should be individually consulted with the student who will be using the text. Fonts size 18 points and larger usually make the text less legible since a line of the text will contain only two to three words. This can lead to problems with understanding the text and its structure. Using bold fonts additionally increases the legibility and clarity of the text.

The following examples illustrate the difference between standard and magnified print:

(a) standard print (Times New Roman, 11 points):

Education should be about live life and not about dead science - Nikolai Gogol

(b) magnified print (Tahoma, 18 points):

Education should be about live life and not about dead science - Nikolai Gogol

 (c) magnified print (Arial, 18 points, bold):

Education should be about live life and not about dead science - Nikolai Gogol

If the material is not available in a computer text file format, it can be magnified on a photocopier. However, it should be borne in mind that the reading of A3 or larger-format sheets may be rather uncomfortable.

5. Text contrast

Colour contrast can improve see-ability, but different medical causes of low vision respond to different colours being contrasted.

Please find below a link to a very helpful online tool: http://www.snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html

When using this tool click on the slide bar icon of the Foreground and Background color boxes. By sliding them to represent your intended foreground and background coloring, you must aim for a ‘Yes’ in the bottom section of the Results box.

There are two types of contrast - brightness and color. The highest brightness contrast is between black and white. Objects have the highest color contrast when they have complementary colors. Examples of complementary colors are red & green and yellow & blue. Be aware that contrasting full colors have no brightness contrast and thus cannot be discriminated by color blind people. So the main contrast in a slide must come from brightness and not from color. Note that many people suffer from glare, so try to apply dark background colors (low brightness) and use bright colors (high brightness) for the text to please low vision and elderly people. A white font on a deep blue background is a very good combination.

Color blind people, in particular, have difficulty with red-green perception. These people have difficulty in reading green text on a red background. So when it is important to have a red background, it would be helpful to use dark red and apply white fonts or when a green background is required, use a light green background and a black font. Be aware that many color blind people are less sensitive to red. So we suggest not using a black font on a red background or red text on a black background.

6. Figures and graphs

If you have figures and graphs, keep them as simple as possible. Use brightness contrasting colors in the same way as with text, as above. Use sans serif font types for the text in the figures and again never use more than one font type per slide and avoid the use of italic font style.

7. Animation

Please keep animation to a minimum as this can be very confusing for people with low vision.

Do not change your language!

Communication with people who are blind or vision impaired during courses/studies

When speaking with a person who is blind or has low vision, be yourself and act naturally. You should also consider the following tips:

-       Identify yourself - don't assume the person will recognise you by your voice.

-       Speak naturally and clearly. Loss of eyesight does not mean loss of hearing.

-       Continue to use body language. This will affect the tone of your voice and give a lot of extra information to the person who is vision impaired.

-       Use everyday language. Don't avoid words like "see" or "look" or talking about everyday activities such as watching TV or videos.

-       Name the person when introducing yourself or when directing conversation to them in a group situation.

-       Never channel conversation through a third person.

-       In a group situation, introduce the other people present.

-       Never leave a conversation with a person without saying so.

-       Use accurate and specific language when giving directions. For example, "the door is on your left", rather than "the door is over there".

-       Avoid situations where there is competing noise.

-       Always ask first to check if help is needed.

-       Relax and be yourself.

Extras:

Guiding a person who is blind or low vision

Sometimes people who are blind or have low vision find it useful to be guided by another person. One way to do this safely and efficiently is to use sighted guide techniques. Not all people with little or no sight will use these methods, so it is important to ask what (if any) specific assistance they require.

Ask the person if they need assistance. If they do need assistance, contact the back of their hand with the back of yours.

 

They can then hold your arm just above the elbow.

 

Walking

When you start walking, make sure the person is half a step behind you and slightly to the side. Walk at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. Look ahead for obstacles at foot level, head height and to the side. 

 

Narrow spaces

Tell the person you are guiding that a narrow space is ahead. Move your guiding arm towards the centre of your back to indicate that they need to walk behind you. The person should step in behind you while still holding your arm. When you have passed through the narrow space bring your arm back to its usual position by your side.

Changing sides

If you need to change sides with the person you are guiding it is important they do not lose contact with you. This is easiest to achieve if you remain stationary. Allow the person to hold your guiding arm with both of their hands. They can then move one hand to reach your other arm without losing contact.

Doorways

When passing through a doorway, ensure the person who is blind or vision impaired is on the hinged side of the door. As you get close to the door, explain which way it opens. Open the door and walk through, allowing the person you are guiding to close it behind you using their free hand.

 

Steps and staircases

 

Stop at the first step and tell the person you are guiding whether the steps go up or down. Change sides if necessary to ensure the person you are guiding can use the handrail. Start walking when the person is ready, remaining one step ahead of them. Stop when you reach the end of the stairs and tell the person you are at the top or bottom.

Seating

Explain which way the chair is facing and where it is placed in relation to the rest of the room. Then walk up and place your guiding arm on the chair and explain which part of the chair you are touching. The person you are guiding can then move their hand down your arm to locate the chair to seat themselves.

Getting into a car

Tell the person you are guiding which way the car is facing and which door they will be getting into. Place your guiding arm onto the door handle and ask the person to move their hand down your arm.

Allow them to open the door and seat themselves. If the car is unfamiliar to them, place your arm inside on the roof so they can follow it and avoid bumping their head. Once seated, allow the person to close the car door.