When verbally guiding a person, ask them if they would like you to walk ahead, behind or on their left or right (2 metres distance). Their preference may allow them to use any remaining vision.
Provide clear instructions when describing a route or when you would like the person to change direction e.g. ‘left’ and ‘right’
You may wish to use the ‘clock face technique’ when describing the environment in front of the person. For example, "directly in front of you at 12 o’clock is the main entrance and to your right at 3 o’clock is a table. On your left at 9 o’clock is the toilet door".
Let the person know before you carry out any procedure that involves physical contact. For example, "I’m going to touch your left arm", "I need you to roll up your left sleeve", or "can I help you with that?".
Before discussing personal information or administering any medical procedure in an open area, make the person with sight loss aware of the environment they are in.
When walking, always let the person know about differences in the floor surface, such as steps and any changes in surface e.g. when moving from tiles to a carpeted area.
Inform the person of any obstacles near them that could be trip hazards or that they could accidentally bump into, such as furniture.
Finally, consider asking how the experience was for them or if there is anything that could have been done differently. If there is, this could not only benefit you but also the next person with sight loss you assist.
Friends or family in the same household or support bubble.
Friends or family that don’t live in the same household or support bubble.
Volunteers or staff from organisations such as GPs, hospitals or similar settings.
This support includes sighted guiding.
Sighted guiding provides support for someone whose sight is not sufficient to safely negotiate an unfamiliar environment. Ordinarily the person being guided keeps light contact with a guider’s elbow while standing alongside or slightly behind the guider, either to the left or right depending on personal preference. Whilst moving, the guider will also talk to the person being guided to provide additional information about any immediate hazards.
The right lighting can help people with sight loss with their independence, comfort and safety.
A Lighting Guide has been developed by Thomas Pocklington Trust to assist people with a vision impairment to improve lighting in their homes, much of this advice is relevant to any settings where people with sight loss may visit.
Consider improving the vaccine centre's lighting to help people with sight loss navigate it safely.