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Armando Vias

A Blind Community Advocate


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Please Don’t Grab A Blind Person Without Asking Them First

I would like to share a personal experience that highlights the importance of a simple gesture – asking for permission before assisting a blind person like me. It happened to me while I was at Burger King a while back, and it left a lasting impression on me.

I recall stepping into Burger King, ready to enjoy a meal. While I had a wonderful experience eating at Burger King, this happened when I was leaving the restaurant.

As I made my way through the restaurant, if I may be correct, an employee noticed me and, with the best of intentions, reached out and grabbed both of my arms. She wanted to guide me out of the restaurant, assuming I needed help. Startled by her sudden touch, all I could muster was a gentle response, “Thanks, but I’m good.”

I want you to remember this story, as it highlights a crucial aspect of interacting with blind individuals like myself. Always ask before extending a helping hand. Respecting our boundaries and seeking our consent can make a remarkable difference in our daily lives.

Why asking for permission matters

When you ask before assisting, you show respect for our personal space and autonomy. You acknowledge that we have the right to make decisions about the help we need, empowering us to maintain our independence.

Remember, not all blind people require assistance in the same way or to the same extent. By asking first, you allow us to communicate our preferences and ensure that any assistance from you that we receive meets our specific needs.

Understanding and acceptance

When a blind person declines your offer to assist, please don’t take it personally. Our rejections are not a reflection of your kindness or your willingness to help. Each one of us has our own unique ways of navigating the world. By respecting our decisions, you contribute to our sense of self-reliance and dignity.

Let’s build an inclusive world together

By embracing the practice of asking before helping a blind person, we can create a more inclusive and empathetic society. Our collective efforts to respect personal boundaries and honor individual choices foster an environment where blind individuals can thrive.

So, as you encounter a blind person who may need assistance, remember to ask, “May I help you?”. If the answer is no, kindly accept it and know that your willingness to understand and respect our autonomy is truly appreciated. Together, let’s shape a world where every person, regardless of their abilities, is valued and embraced with open hearts.

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This page or post was last updated on Sunday, April 14th, 2024 @ 6:29 pm Eastern Time.