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Transfer of information from one person to another is communication. In communication, there should be a message, the sender, and the receiver of the message. Sometimes the sender may not be aware of the message intended for him. Moreover, the receiver may not be present. For communication to be finished, the receiver must understand the topic. Communication between two parties requires feedback.
Disability refers to physical impairment that limits the victim from performing normal duties. Disabilities vary from one individual to another with some people possessing mild, moderate, or severe body impairments, while in others, the condition is worse. A disability associated with vision is the most common type of disability. Hundreds of people are suffering from small visual impairments though others have serious visual disabilities. Examples of vision impairments include dry eyes, corneal graft, sclera scratches, and scratched cornea (Sack & Kekelis 1992, p.181).
Several communication methods can be used to pass information to blind people. However, the method that an individual chooses to communicate to the blind should be based on the level of the blindness of the disabled individual and the duration. For instance, individuals with limited sight use sign language. Electronic devices or tactile methods of communication are used by people who cannot see (Sack & Kekelis 1992, p.181).
I believe that communication is important for blind people just as it is to other people. They should be taught how to use other senses to cover for the loss of sight. Societies should set up special education programs for the blind to equip blind people with the needed knowledge and skills to enhance communication. I believe that if needed, support is offered to blind people so that they can be successful and independent in life.
Uslan (1990, p.171) argues that many visually impaired persons all over the world need the help of their parents, friends, and family members to attain their goals. Like other people, visually impaired persons want to lead good lives in the future.
For instance, they dream of getting an education, which will help them secure good jobs, they wish to marry and bring up happy families and own properties like cars, and vehicles. Except for visual disabilities, most of them have their senses operating properly. With needed help, they can excel in many studies. My goal is to look at some of the challenges that blind people encounter in their lives and establish applicable solutions to their problems.
I learned that there are different causes of blindness and visual impairments. The effects of visual impairments vary from one person to another. I realized that some people have coped with the situation from birth while others got visual impairments through injuries, accidents, or diseases, which interfered with their vision. I also realized that many people develop vision impairments during their old age. People with mild impairments used contact lenses and glasses to correct their visual impairment.
During communication with a visually impaired person, it is important to identify oneself. Second, other people present should be introduced or allowed to do an introduction for themselves. Communication should use words used in daily life like “see” and “look.” It is important to inform the person when moving from one section to another so that they can understand well. Breaks and time to resume duties should be well communicated. Instructions should be given in a specific and accurate language (Gense & Gense 2005, p.134).
According to Gene and Gense (2005, p.140), materials provided to visually impaired persons should be in the correct format for them to access them quickly. Large prints are preferred for people with low vision but blind people need special software that translates information recorded in computers to audio forms that can be listened to such as screen readers. When preparing written documents, it is important to put into consideration visually impaired persons to ensure it is accessible to them. People should be encouraged to use approaches that include visually impaired persons during communication.
The ability to read and write is important for the academic excellence of blind people. Blind children should be guided and instructed on how to read Braille. The first step is to identify the order of symbols and alphabets on the Braille from right to left. Using the two hands, they should learn to read from one line to the next without skipping any line. Representation of letters and numbers in Braille is in the form of a cell in which two columns each with three dots are displayed.
Letters and numbers are represented in the cells. Letters and words are translated by passing fingers over the dots. They should be able to read complex documents as they grow up. By the time they join high school, blind students should be able to access and use Braille without help (Sacks & Wolffe 2006, p.368).
Sacks and Wolffe (2006, p.370) argue that listening skills are important for blind people and they depend on their ability to listen to grasp information efficiently and quickly. For instance, blind students listen to tapes to understand the contents of a book. Blind people listen to understand what is going on around them. Through the advancement of technology, blind people can access computers. Communication is enhanced by improved technology and their ability to use electronic devices. Technological resources used by the blind include Braille embossers, electronic book players, screen readers, and text-to-speech software.
For blind people to communicate, they should learn to read, write, and listen. This will enable them to understand what other people say and communicate their ideas to other people. Visually impaired persons who lack these skills find it hard to communicate with other people.
Worrall and Hickson (2003, p.90) state that visually impaired persons are different with some requiring several devices to help them communicate. The following ways are used to help communicate with blind people. Touch cues are used to instruct visually impaired persons on what will happen. They help them understand places, people, and activities through touching. For instance, sitting is communicated by placing a hand on the shoulder.
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By touching personal belongings like a ring, watch, blind people can tell people familiar to them. Such things are used to identify such people. Continual use of touch cues helps them to recognizer people and things happening around them. Tactile symbols and objects prove important means of communicating with blind people. For instance, giving a blind person a spoon makes them understand that it is time to take their meals.
Clear instructions should be used when communicating with blind people. For instance, they should be directed in the direction of the door from where they are standing or seated. Pointing at things is not needed because they will not see.
This unit has transformed my way of thinking. First, I perceived blind people as helpless people who cannot succeed in their studies. However, it has come to my understanding that with needed help and support, blind people can be independent and successful in life. The most important thing is to help them access the needed supportive devices that will enhance their communication skills. The ability to communicate opens their doors to success and achievements.
Blind people have proved to excel in academic studies even more than other people without vision defects. I learned the role of health services to control visual problems. It came to my knowledge that some people suffer because of negligence. An example is a case in which children suffer from eye diseases and needed measures are not taken (Worrall &Hickson 2003, p.92)
I would urge people to ensure that eye problems are attended to in their early stages when the condition can be treated. Blindness is a physical challenge, and it does not mean that the person is stupid. They should be allowed to exercise their rights and discrimination of any kind should be avoided. The language that people use when describing physical impairments affects the perception that people have of the disabled.
The use of inappropriate language is rude, humiliating, and disempowering. People should ensure that they do not use unnecessary remarks to disabled people. It is wrong to make assumptions about the needs and impairments of disabled people. Last, disable people should be treated with respect like other people.
List of References
Genesee, M & Gense, M 2005, Autism spectrum disorders and visual impairment: meeting students’ learning needs, American Foundation for the Blind, New York.
Sacks, S & Wolffe, K 2006, Teaching social skills to students with visual impairments: from theory to practice, American Foundation for the Blind, New York.
Sacks, S & Kekelis, L 1992, The development of social skills by blind and visually impaired students: exploratory studies and strategies, American Foundation for the Blind, New York.
Uslan, M 1990, Access to mass transit for blind and visually impaired travelers, American Foundation for the Blind, New York.
Worrall, L & Hickson, L 2003, Communication disability in aging: from prevention to intervention, Cengage Learning, New York.