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    Updated on Aug 8, 2018. Posted on Jul 29, 2018

    19 Ridiculous Things People With Guide Dogs Experience

    "Please stop asking my guide dog something instead of me."

    1. People are always saying “You don’t look blind”.

    NBC

    There are many different representations of a vision impairment so just like you wouldn’t want to be defined by your race, gender or age, those with vision impairment shouldn’t be defined by their disability. Check out this video by Fashioneyesta for more info.

    2. And they feel the need to say “You’re so brave”.

    The CW

    Whilst perhaps full of good intentions, saying "you’re brave" comes off as patronising and plays into the stereotypes that vision impaired people don’t lead normal lives, which is clearly untrue

    3. No joke, some people even ask “Shall I give your bag to your dog?”.

    Natalya Lobanova / BuzzFeed

    While dogs can be quite the fashionistas they have absolutely no need for a bag. Though guide dogs are incredible, if you want to give something to their owner, we’d suggest you do just that.

    4. And many people fumble around with their words and say something like “It’s very bright in here, shall I close the bli – shades”.

    Warner Bros

    Don’t feel you need to alter your vocabulary when interacting with somebody with sight loss, instead make a considered effort to be inclusive in your actions.

    5. Or “Nice to see you… I mean meet you”.

    Comedy Central

    Again, no one is going to take offence but just try to be more inclusive with your language.

    6. A lot of people ask “How do you pick up your guide dog's poop?”.

    Showtime

    Think about it, have you ever seen a guide dog poop? Nope, because they're on the job so don't just poop when they're out and about. They are trained to go outside at regular times and keep to a routine as much as possible so the owner knows when and where to scoop up the poop!

    7. Often someone goes to talk about a TV show and presumes you haven't watched it.

    Nickelodeon

    Yes I did catch Game of Thrones, and yes it was awesome.

    8. Lots of people are convinced people with vision impairments have a sixth sense.

    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    This is not a real thing. There are many different representations of vision impairment and disability, so the perception that other senses become heightened can not only be damaging but also is often untrue.

    9. And they presume that people with a vision impairment have superhuman hearing.

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Unfortunately this is untrue, although super powers would be great. People with vision impairments use their hearing a lot more so it's just that they become naturally more in tune with that sense.

    10. And say “It’s over there”, whilst pointing.

    Universal Pictures

    This is likely to be an accident but it’s not exactly the most useful way to guide someone with vision impairment.

    11. Some people make the mistake of asking “Would they like some more?” to the person nearby instead of asking the actual person they're talking to.

    VH1

    Vision impairment is not an indication of being a less capable person. Don’t presume a stranger’s limitations and make the effort to treat everybody with the same level of dignity and respect.

    12. People often also ask “How do you use your phone?”.

    Hulu

    Most modern phones have lots of settings that make their use easier for people with a vision impairment.

    13. And “How do you commute?”.

    MTV

    The exact same way you do, by hoping there's no traffic and that public transport stays working.

    14. They also give dirty looks when they think you can't see them.

    Funny Or Die

    According to Guide Dogs UK, in 2017, 13.2% of vision impaired people had severe sight loss. That means those dirty looks you've been giving can most likely be seen. And even if that's not the case you shouldn't be dishing out those kind of looks anyway.

    15. A lot of drivers toot the car horn and wave as they drive past visually impaired people.

    Fox

    You wouldn’t believe how many people with sight loss have experienced this, but if you’re trying to get someone’s attention who is vision impaired, then we’d suggest an alternative approach more suited to their needs.

    16. Other pedestrians grab you when you're trying to cross the road.

    Fox

    This is not as helpful as you might think. Guide dogs help people with visual impairments cross the road sufficiently, grabbing someone without their consent is not cool.

    17. And sometimes they don't realise you've got a guide dog and think you're speaking to yourself.

    Universal Pictures

    It takes people a while to realise you're not just having a conversation with yourself but that you're actually having a good gossip sesh with your guide dog.

    18. Often some people stupidly ask "How are you so fashionable?".

    The CW

    A vision impairment does not hinder your sense of style! In fact there are plenty of beauty gurus with a vision impairment, like YesterdaysWishes.

    19. And finally, a lot of people say “It must be amazing having a guide dog”.

    In researching this piece we spoke to contributors from Guide Dogs UK, including Lynette and her guide dog Pippa!

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