How the blind find braille signs

I have written before about how, for the blind, darkness is not the prison that sighted people imagine it to be. The sense of sight tends to overwhelm all the other senses but in its absence, they develop and use all their other senses in ways that enable them to navigate their way through the world incredibly well, usually without the need of assistance from sighted people.

Tommy Edison takes us through the process by which he finds his way in public buildings.

There is a point of etiquette that I was not clear about. I suspect that if they are in unfamiliar surroundings, there may be occasions where they might appreciate help from others. But how does one know when to offer assistance to a stranger without appearing to be presumptuous?

This website offers some guidance.

  • Approach: if you suspect someone may need a hand, walk up, greet them and identify yourself.
  • Ask: “Would you like some help?” The person will accept your offer or tell you if they don’t require assistance.
  • Assist: listen to the reply and assist as required. Not all people who are blind or vision impaired will want assistance – don’t be offended if your assistance is not required.

If your offer is accepted, the article gives tips on how best to do so.


  1. Trickster Goddess says

    Near my sister’s place in Vancouver there is a restaurant where all of the servers are blind. All the diners are brought in and seated at the same time, then the lights are turned off, and they are served and eat their meals in complete darkness. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but it would be interesting to see how it changes the tasting experience.

  2. Jake Harban says

    I have written before about how, for the blind, darkness is not the prison that sighted people imagine it to be.

    I’m not blind so that makes me a sighted person imagining, but I am disabled and can try to extrapolate from my disability (albeit with likely errors).

    “Prison” is very much the word I’d use to describe my disability. It’s a soul-crushingly miserable thing that transforms my life into a living hell. I would rid myself of it in a second if only I had the option to do so. And yet, countless people who have the same or similar condition insist it’s a “difference to be celebrated.” They swear that they wouldn’t accept a cure if there was one. They even take offense to the idea that they should be cured. And when pressed, they usually fall back on the handful of positive side effects that come with the disability or the accommodations that allow them to partially mitigate it, both of which do absolutely nothing to alleviate the misery of incapacitation.

    I always figure blindness is roughly similar. And I’d hypothesize that people who became blind are more likely to desire a cure for blindness than people who were born blind.

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