There’s no need to treat blind people indifferently or even stop them from walking down the road to enjoy the gift of nature.
A broad walk does a lot of good to a blind person even if they cannot see anything.
It helps them improve their circulation, lighten their mood, and strengthen their muscles.
Unfortunately, most roads are congested and require extra effort to navigate successfully. This is why you should consider helping a blind person cross a busy road as often as possible.
Take advantage of this article and learn how to help a blind person to cross a busy road.
Table of Contents
- Who is a Blind Person?
- How to Help a Blind Person to Cross a Busy Road
- What You Should Not Do When Helping a Blind Person to Cross the Road
Who is a Blind Person?
Don’t make the mistake that most people make – that a blind person is someone who can’t see anything.
A blind person’s vision experience varies with the kind of visual impairment they have. So, it makes sense to discuss a little about vision impairment in this section to understand who exactly a blind person is.
Vision impairment is a disability-related condition that can affect people of all ages. It also affects both men and women and has no geographical restrictions. Sometimes, vision impairment could be in-born or an after-birth condition.
In addition, vision impairment can be partial, that is, a reduced vision that can be corrected using drugs, surgery, contact lenses, or glasses. It can also be a total vision impairment, whereby the victim cannot see with the affected eyes.
The common causes of blindness are cataracts, damage to the retina, illness, and macular degeneration.
In essence, a blind person may not see anything or only see certain things. It all depends on their visual impairment.
Let’s jump right in and see how to help a blind person to cross a busy road.
How to Help a Blind Person to Cross a Busy Road
Here are the steps to take.
Walk Up to Them and Introduce Yourself
The first thing to do is to walk up to them and introduce yourself.
Remember that blind people are vulnerable to assaults and abuse. So, it’s important to introduce yourself to them to assure them that you’re not a bad guy. Make sure to tell them your name and who you are.
For example, my name is John Daryl, and I am a teacher. Introducing yourself to a blind person help to create a bond and the assurance that you’re not trying to take advantage of their condition.
Ask if They Need Help
Ask the blind person if they need help with crossing the road after you’ve introduced yourself. It is wrong to assume that they need help to cross the road. You can never be so sure.
Some blind people have patterns and techniques to cross a road and may need no help. Some locations have talking traffic lights that help blind people safely cross the road.
So, ask to confirm if they need help so that you don’t endanger their lives when trying to assist them with it. If a blind person declines your offer of assistance, respect their wishes and stay away.
But if given the go-ahead, hold their hands to help them cross the road.
Warning: Don’t touch their walking aid or pet guide. Their hands are the only thing you should touch and hold, stay away from their canes and guide dogs.
Related: How to Easily Call a Deaf Person
Use a Safe Crossing
Ensure that you use a safe crossing. Hold their hands and look to the left, the right, and the left again. Then help the blind person get across the road when you’ve confirmed that there’s no coming vehicle at a closer range.
It is important to give directions when helping a blind person cross a busy road. Avoid using gestures to give directions. Instead, explain and try to give a clear description. For example, you could say something like walk straight down instead of pointing your fingers straight.
Raise their Awareness to their New Location
Don’t let the blind person assume that you’ve helped them cross and gotten to the other end of the road. Instead, raise their awareness of the new change and let them confirm that they know their way around before you let go of their hands.
Describe the other end of the road to them using colors, shapes, buildings, and people to confirm where they want to be.
If they agree that they are where they want to be, let go of their hands and say goodbye. Otherwise, ensure that you help them get to a familiar area.
Saying goodbye to a blind person you helped cross the road is not offensive. Instead, it’s an act of good treatment. Tell them how glad you are to have helped them and that you hope to see them again.
You can use phrases like “see you later,” “take care of yourself,” “enjoy your day,” and so on. Trust me; it would lighten their mood and help them enjoy walking on the road.
What You Should Not Do When Helping a Blind Person to Cross the Road
Here are a few things to avoid doing.
Don’t Ask Personal Questions
Don’t take advantage of the situation to ask personal questions like how they lost their sight, when they became blind, and other sensitive questions. Your aim is to help them feel at ease when crossing the road and not put them under tension. Only ask them where they are going to give proper directions.
Don’t Grab Them to Cross the Road
The best way to help a blind person to cross the road is to hold their free hands; not the hand used to hold the cane or pet dog.
Then, gently walk across the road with them. Don’t push, drag, or grab them. You could injure them when you do that. Allow them to walk at their pace when crossing the road.