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Sabra, who has low vision, grabbed her lunch tray and turned to face the cafeteria. It was a sea of blurry faces.

Her first day of ninth grade had been off to a great start. She had found her first class easily, thanks to practice with her orientation and mobility instructor the week before. But now, standing in the bustling cafeteria, she felt her confidence slip away. Who would want to eat with the blind girl?

Then suddenly, she felt a tap on her shoulder.

“Hey, come sit with us,” a classmate said. “We’re at this table, trying to figure out what’s really in the pasta salad. Wanna help?”

CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE

Just say hi.
Don’t overthink it. A simple “Hi, how are you?” along with an introduction, can go a long way. Maybe that’s the extent of your conversation, and that’s OK, too. By addressing a blind person like you would anyone else, you’re acknowledging their presence – and not just focusing on their disability.

Include.
If you’re in a social setting and you see a blind person sitting alone, consider introducing yourself.

Offer assistance.
If you see a blind person who seems to need help in some way, offer assistance. Most blind people are independent, but they do face unexpected obstacles where sighted guidance can be helpful.

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BlindNewWorld is sponsored by Perkins School for the Blind, where Helen Keller challenged and dramatically changed society’s perceptions of individuals with disabilities. Founded in 1829, Perkins is the leading global enterprise dedicated to advancing the lives of the young blind population through education, accessibility and innovation.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” - Helen Keller

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