Vicky: Okay this is an interesting one – if a vision impaired person has a mark or stain on their clothes do you point it out or not? Is it more embarrassing for you to point it out or would they prefer you to tell them so they’re aware of it? A while ago now, I was at Dave’s and noted that he had a mark on his shirt. As we were due to go out for a meeting I decided to tell him, taking the pretty sure bet that as he had the opportunity to change he’d probably prefer to know. I also have the added advantage of knowing Dave well enough that, if he could see the stain, he’d go and change his shirt (which he duly did)! If, however, I met a blind person down the pub, I would probably decide not to say anything – I wouldn’t walk up to a sighted person and say – hey did you know you’ve got a mark on your shirt! Having said that, if I was out with a friend with a vision impairment who had a mark on something, I would probably choose to tell them so that they could either try and remove the mark or cover it up with a cardy/jumper etc., in the same way that I would tell a sighted person if I thought they hadn’t noticed.
Dave: Such a sensitive subject and, as Vicky has identified, it’s likely that you’ll only say something if you know the vision impaired person well. Personally, I like to know if I have a stain on my clothes – sometimes this is because I’ve dropped some food down me and haven’t noticed or it might be from leaning on something or brushing past pollen from plants, either way, I would rather know than not. I like to think that I am well presented and that my clothes are clean and would be disappointed if I wasn’t told about it. Equally, I like to know if I smell but this is another post for another time!
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.