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If there’s a blind person living in your community, introduce yourself and offer to show them around the neighborhood. Take steps to include them in formal and informal events so that they do not become isolated, which can often occur.

Be Social.

When you see your blind neighbor, say hello. Speak directly in a normal tone of voice and converse as you would with any other neighbor.

Stop the Staring.

If young children or others stare at, point to or whisper comments about your blind neighbor, discourage the behavior. Make it clear that your community should treat everybody with respect.

Extend an Invite.

Be sure to include blind adults and children in activities like block parties, clean-up days, association meetings, walks and playdates. People who are blind enjoy many of the same activities as you. They’ll let you know if there’s an adaptation that will help them participate.

Offer Help.

Be aware. If you see your neighbor crossing a new construction zone or entering what could be a dangerous area or situation, offer assistance.

Don’t Pet the Guide Dog.

If your neighbor has a guide dog, don’t pet it or distract it. Service dogs are doing serious work and distracting them can put their owner in danger.

Increase Accessibility.

Be sensitive to the fact that areas of your community may not be accessible. Discuss this with your neighbor. Making crosswalk signals audible is one way neighborhoods can increase accessibility.

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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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