Diverse Abilities

Gina Martin

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Saying “Hello” to someone who is blind or partially sighted,

a few AWESOME and helpful things happen!

1. When you know our name, it is helpful when you use it to greet or address us.  Saying “Hi Gina” lets me know for sure that you are talking to me. Often, many of us who have low to no vision don’t always know it is us that you are talking too.

2. When you introduce yourself to us and tell us your name, it allows us to make a connection with you that we cannot do visually. Example: “Hello, I am Shelly the store manager” or “Hello I am Brian, we met a couple times at the bus stop.” This helps us identify who you are. 

3. When you say “Hi Gina, this is Cory from the flower shop on Maple street” you get my attention, I know for sure you are talking to me, and I know who I am talking with. We then have a normal interaction with each other.

4. It can often be difficult to identify someone by voice alone - even if we know you well.  Surrounding sounds can interfere with our ability to recognize a voice -- even ones that are familiar to us. The soundsof daily life like traffic, kids playing, coffee brewing, photocopiers printing, people talking, or music playing in the background are  distractions that can take away from identifying you by your voice.

5. Being quiet and not announcing your presence to those of us who are blind or partially sighted can feel very unsettling - even scary for some of us because we cannot visually see your intentions. Please use your voice and just say “Hello.” We  take your Hello as that nod, smile, or acknowledgement people with sight give each other throughout the day. When you do this, you are treating us like everyone else and that is all we really want.  

6. If you want to shake our hand, it is appreciated when you let us know, as many of us may not see your gesture. Saying something like "I'm extending my hand to shake yours" or "May I shake your hand" works just fine.

7. Please do say goodbye, see you later, or "I’ve got to go" when you leave so we don’t continue talking to someone who is no longer there. 

So please when you notice us, say “Hello,” introduce yourself, and learn our name so the next time we meet we will know who you are and we can share a friendly acknowledgment together.

“Losing my sight has not changed who I am, it has changed my interactions with the world.”

Gina Martin.

Breaking through Barriers 

Follow me on my Diverse Abilities page to learn more😃

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