Tag Archives: blind

Our Obligation to Help the Blind

In today’s post, Julian Omidi discusses what we can all do to help the blind.

Do you know someone who is blind or has low vision? People who are sighted often wonder how to be of assistance to the blind without coming across as patronizing or rude. The American Foundation for the Blind has an informative website where everyone can learn about blindness, help with fundraising for related causes, or even volunteer time to a charity that works with the blind.

Experts with another organization, Vision Australia, have posted some helpful tips on their website that explain the best way to assist a blind person you may meet on the street or at your job. Here’s a quick summary of the tips. Be sure to check out their website for more information.

  • If you think a blind person needs a hand, always introduce yourself and say hello first, then ask, “Would you like some help?” Don’t assume that the person needs or wants assistance.
  • Listen to how the person responds to your inquiry and don’t feel bad if they reject your offer.
  • If a blind or low-vision person is in a room that you enter, let them know you are there, address them by their name (if you know it), and tell them when you are leaving the room.
  • When walking with a blind person, a dangerous situation may arise. Never say, “Look out,” but rather, “Stop.” Clarity is the key here, and the phrase, “Look out,” is potentially ambiguous to someone who can’t see well.
  • If you fill a drinking glass for a blind person, never fill it to the brim.
  • When accompanying a blind or low-vision person to a social event, make sure you describe what is going on around you.
  • When helping a blind person into a chair, put their hands onto the back of it. From that point, they will be able to seat themselves.

The above list is just a sample of the many tips, suggestions and ideas you’ll learn at the Vision Australia and American Federation of the Blind websites. Spend some time learning how to help your blind, or low-vision neighbors and friends.

Blindness is a unique disability, and requires all of us to play a role in assisting our fellow citizens who have limited eyesight.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi is the co-founder of Civic Duty, an organization that examines ways all citizens can help their communities, as well as other charitable organizations.

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November Will See Active Learning Conference

Dr. Michael Omidi and myself have dedicated our support for the November 5th and 6th Penrickton Center Active Learning Conference held in The Holiday Inn in Southgate, MI.

The theme of this meeting is to raise awareness through presentations and discussions about the latest and most effective methods to educate the blind and developmentally-delayed children.

This early November two-day Conference is to assist teachers and parents to better comprehend the multiple different options for kids to develop. The conference is also to fine-tune and find the newest techniques for caregivers to be more experienced in information.

Danish psychologist Dr. Lilli Nielsen created the viewpoint of Active Learning 40 years ago. Nielsen is author to many books revolving around the philosophy of Active Learning tutorials like Little Room, Support Bench and Hopsa-Dress.  During the conference, the methods will be discussed and tools such as developing critical motor skills, social comfort, spatial relations and basic life skills will be implemented for educational purposes.

The non-profit organization, Penrickton Center for Blind is an agency that provides five-day residential, day care and consultation/evaluation services for children aged 1-12 coping with disability and blindness.

The center not only caters to the blind, but also children suffering with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, developmental delay, brain damage and deafness. The center uses occupational therapy to support child and family development.

Blind children tend to become passive, waiting for adults to administer learning strategies. The Active Learning philosophy is to focus on creating a diverse learning space that encourages children to become ‘active learners,’ according to the press release. The idea goes for people coping with mental disorders as well.

The Penrickton Center adopted the Nielsen philosophy and has used this method for more than 20 years.

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