Communication and Touch Crucial to Interact with the Blind

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Welcoming the 2018 Asian Para Games, a module composed from the partnership of the Indonesian Women with Disabilities (HWDI) and the Ministry of Social Affairs classified two type of people with blindness; low vision and total blindness.

    People with low vision need contrasting colors or sufficient lighting to identify an object while total blindness are people with totally impaired vision and optimize their way to navigate with the sense of touch or sounds.

    Upon communicating with people with blindness, one must not forget and it is highly suggested to touch and speak in order to interact-well. Such as shaking their hands while introducing your name and for those who intend to help, offer it politely to know if your offer is accepted or not.

    Guiding a blind individual should not require one’s hand to be held at all times, but let the individual hold your hand so you can lead the way if they agree. Always verbally inform of any items in your vicinity or when you intend to depart.

    Disabilities activist and HWDI chairman Maulani Rotinsulu said that the misconception from non-disabled people upon interacting with the blind is lack of communication.

    “They would presumably think ‘what disabled want I can provide it myself. Done deal’,” said Maulani when Tempo met her at the HWDI convention in Cikini, Jakarta, on Monday, October 1.

    Avoid using pronouns and offer verbal help with words that specifically describe something, such as replacing “there or here” with specific directions such as “in your right”,”left”,”top”, and “bottom.” Or you can use time references to navigate directions such as twelve o’clock to describe that you are headed straight ahead.