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For April 2012:

How to make functions more accessible.

At the best of times, one can only say that functions are either acceptably accessible or not very accessible. There is room for something in between but for this article, I’d like to give some pointers on how to make functions more accessible for someone who is blind. So here goes.

Make sure that if you invite a blind person to a function, that there is someone who is available to help the person to navigate the location of the function. This can be done in three ways.

  1. You can ask the person if they would like to bring along someone as an escort.
  2. You can offer to provide sighted help to them but you should tell them this when you offer the invitation.
  3. You can ask them if they will require any assistance but in this case even if they were to say no it would still be a good idea to have someone on hand to lend some assistance.

If the function includes a buffet table, it would be a good idea to instruct your servers to tell the blind person what they are serving. In addition, make sure that the food is neatly arranged on the blind person’s plate and that it is not piled high.

If the function includes a sit down meal, make sure that the person knows what is being served and in addition, what else is on the table. Another pointer is to ensure that the blind person knows who else is seated at the table.

It may not be a bad idea for someone to give the blind person a quick physical tour of the room but if this is not possible, then provide a verbal description. I find this to be very important.

There are always other things to be considered but this should be a good start.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your free lance writer and roving reporter wishing you a terrific day.

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