The main thing to remember when working with someone that may need help getting around is to work with the person’s personal preferences. If you are unsure of their personal preference, there are some basic tips you can follow.
Tips on guiding a deafblind person
There are a few important things to bear in mind if you are in the company of a deafblind person that may need to be helped with getting around.
– Not all deafblind people need to be guided
– Respect the guiding preferences of the deafblind person
– When guiding you should stand next to deafblind person on their preferred side, and be half a step to a step ahead of them
– Use the grip the deafblind person prefers, there are three generally accepted grips
1. Linked arm grip, the deafblind person links their arm through yours
2. Holding elbow grip, the deafblind person holds your arm just above the elbow
3. Hand on shoulder grip, the deafblind person places their hand on your shoulder
– Walk at the speed of the deafblind person, NOT yours. Consider the person’s age and whether they have any other disabilities
– You may have to indicate obstacles that the deafblind person wouldn’t see, like steps, stairs or chairs in a corridor
– Think ahead, use common sense
Deafblind people will use a red and white striped cane, but there are generally quite a few variants when it comes to the type or style of walking aid they may use. You can read more about canes here.