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New Roommates

In Your Social Circle

It’s the first day of freshman year and Raiff is excited for his roommate to arrive.

“Dave and I emailed over the summer and I can tell it’s gonna be awesome,” he said. “He loves country music, plus he’s a diehard Cardinals fan.”

But when Dave walks in holding a white cane, Raiff is momentarily speechless.

“Shell-shocked is more like it,” he said. “They put me with a blind guy? My first thought was there had to be some mistake.”

But Dave walked up to Raiff and stuck out his hand, asking him if he’d seen the ninth-inning walk-off the night before.

“Once we started talking, I realized there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. He’s just a normal dude, like me.”

CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE

Don’t assume.
People who are blind attend college, hold full-time jobs, play sports, volunteer in their communities and do lots of things that other people do. Let go of outdated stereotypes and don’t assume a blind person can’t do something or won’t be as fun or interesting because they cannot see.

Make a connection.
Make a connection with a blind person just as you would with anyone. Ask about their likes and interests – not just their disability. You might be surprised to find that you have a lot in common.

Be honest.
Not sure how to act around someone who’s blind? Feeling uncomfortable? Only by learning about each other and asking questions can this feeling disappear.

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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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