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Division of Services for the Blind

Assisting the Blind

Talking with a person who is blind

When conversing with a person who is blind use normal terms as well as normal tones. Go ahead and use words like “see” and “look”. Speak directly to the person, not through a third party. Interpretation is not necessary. When asking a question, call the person by name so he will know he is being addressed.

Leaving a person who is blind

When you’re leaving a person who is blind, announce your departure. Don’t leave him stranded or talking to himself. Above all, remember common sense and sensitivity to others are most important.

What is Blindness?

Blindness does not always mean a total loss of sight. A person whose visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye, with the best correction, or whose field of vision is restricted to 20 degrees or less is considered “blind.” Some people with rapidly progressive visual problems which will result in blindness may benefit from the services of the Division of Services for the Blind.

Serving as a sighted guide

When walking with a person who is blind move at a normal pace about one-half step ahead. He will normally hold onto the sighted person’s arm just above the elbow. The person who is blind can then feel and easily follow the guide’s movements up, down, straight, left, right, etc. A slight hesitation before stepping up or down is helpful.

Serving food to a person who is blind

When serving a person who is blind and eating without a sighted companion, offer to read the menu – including the price of each item. As you place each item on the table, call his attention to it, as: “Here’s your water.” If he wants you to cut up his food or serve it from a casserole or platter, he will request that help. It’s never a bad form to offer, however.

Making change for a person who is blind

If making change in bills of more than one denomination, hand him the bills separately and identify each denomination as you hand it to him. This is not necessary with coins; he knows them by touch.

Assisting a person who is blind across the street

Let the blind person know you are there by asking, “May I be of assistance?” Speak in a normal tone. If he accepts your offer, let him take your arm. Never “grab” the blind person’s arm, he can’t anticipate your movements if you do. After crossing a street see that he is going in the direction he wants to take and caution him about any obstruction ahead.

Giving directions to a person who is blind

Always give directions verbally – pointing or gesturing will not help. Using terms such as “left,” “right “,
”straight-ahead” or compass points will assist the person in reaching his destination. Street names, if known, can be helpful to some people who are blind.

Assisting a person who is blind with seating

In showing a person who is blind to a chair, place his hand upon the back or arm of it; don’t try to push him into it. His touch will tell him the type, width, and height of the chair.

If you need this material in an alternative format such as large print, tape, Braille, or computer disk, please contact our Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator at 501-682-5463 or 1-800-960-9270.

Lost Sight Does Not Mean Lost Opportunity in Arkansas

The Division of Services for the Blind is in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act and is operated, managed, and delivers services without regard to age, religion, disability, political affiliation, veteran status, sex, race, color, or national origin.

Contact Information

Any person who is severely visually impaired and is interested in receiving additional information or services can contact:

Division of Services for the Blind

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 3237
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203

Physical Address:
1 Commerce Way, Suite 204
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202

Telephone: 501-682-5463
Toll-Free: 1-800-960-9270
TDD: Deaf Relay 711
FAX: 501-682-0366

Arkansas Workforce Connections



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ADWS provides interpretation and translation services, at no cost, for clients who need assistance in accessing and participating in available services and programs. To request an interpreter or translator, please contact your nearest local office. 

ADWS ej lewaj jerbal in ukok ilo jeje im kennaan, ilo ejjelok wōnāān, ñan client ro am ak ro kimij jerbal ippair im rej aikuij jipañ ñan bok kunairilo jerbal ko iim pirokiraam ko. Ñan am kajjitōk juon ri-ukok, jouij im kepaake opij eo epaake ijo kwoj pād ie.

ADWS proporciona servicios de interpretación y traducción, sin costo alguno, para clientes que necesitan asistencia accediendo y participando en servicios y programas disponibles. Para solicitar un intérprete o traductor, por favor póngase en contacto con su oficina local más cercana.

ADWS cung cấp dịch vụ thông dịch và phiên dịch miễn phí cho khách hàng cần trợ giúp trong việc tiếp cận và tham gia các dịch vụ và chương trình hiện có. Để yêu cầu thông dịch viên hoặc phiên dịch viên, yêu cầu liên lạc với văn phòng địa phương gần nhất.

ພະແນກ ADWS ຈັດຫາບໍຣິການນາຍພາສາແລະການແປເອກະສານ ໂດຍບໍ່ຄິດຄ່າບໍຣິການ ສຳລັບຄົນງານທີ່ຕ້ອງການຄວາມຊ່ວຍເຫລືອເພື່ອເຂົ້າເຖິງ ແລະເຂົ້າຮ່ວມໃນ ການຮັບບໍຣິການແລະໂຄງການຕ່າງໆທີ່ມີຢູ່ສຳລັບທ່ານ. ຂໍໃຫ້ທ່ານຈົ່ງຕິດຕໍ່ຫ້ອງການທ້ອງຖິ່ນທີ່ໃກ້ທ່ານທີ່ສຸດ ເພື່ອຂໍຮັບບໍຣິການຈາກນາຍພາສາຫລືນັກແປເອກະສານ.