Blurred People
Is this how some of
your church see you?

Sighted guiding tips

  1. Introduce yourself and speak directly to the person.
  2. Always ask first if help is required, rather than making assumptions and let the person explain what type of help they need.
  3. If guiding assistance is required, ask if they would like to take your arm. The standard clasp position is for the person to hold on just above your elbow. However, those being guided can have their own variations, which they prefer. Some people prefer being guided by holding onto your shoulder.
  4. Never pull, drag or push the person and ask if they prefer being guided on their left or right.
  5. Walk at a speed that is comfortable for you both. If it is an older person with sight loss they might be moving slower than a younger person.
  6. Be aware of any obstacles in the way as you guide the person, which could be on the ground or overhead such as overhanging bushes.
  7. Stairs, kerbs or slopes – warn the person in advance and it is also good to mention if you are going up or down, with a slight pause before taking the first step up or down. If handrails are available you should offer the person the opportunity to use them.
  8. When approaching a tight space that will require walking in single file, move your guiding arm behind your back. The person you are guiding should move in behind you whilst still holding your arm. When going through a doorway tell the person if the door is opening towards them or away from them. Opening the door with your guiding arm can also easily let the person know this.
  9. When sitting down, tell the person that you are putting their hand on the back of the chair and let them sit down by themselves. If there are arms on the chair, you should point these out. Never push a person back into a seat.
  10. Guide dogs are trained to walk on the left so the guide dog user will have to take your left arm.
  11. If you are guiding a blind person to a car, place one of their hands on the open car door and one on the roof so that they can get into the car by themselves.
  12. After you finish assisting someone, tell him or her when you are leaving, otherwise they could end up talking to themselves.