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Communication and Assistance

Sighted people may be unsure on how to communicate with vision impaired people and may sometimes avoid it for fear of saying the “wrong things”. But that does not have to be the case. They just need to be aware that VI people cannot read visual cues (e.g. facial expressions and hand gestures) and appreciate words that offer more description.

Here is a link to some tips by Vision Australia on how you can communicate with vision impaired people.

You may also watch this video below on “How to talk to a blind person”.

Tips to Help A Blind Person

Here are some informational factsheets and tips for:

A Guide Dog has to concentrate in order to guide its user around safely. You can help by:

  • Not patting the Guide Dog

  • Not feeding the Guide Dog

  • Not distracting the Guide Dog in any way

Guide Dogs Legislation

Guide dogs are working animals for people with vision impairment, therefore the laws allow these animals to access public places and transport.

Click here to find out more

Hiring People with Vision Impairment

With the use of assistive technology, people with vision impairment can work and contribute to the workforce productively. According to Accenture’s 2018 market research, it was revealed that companies that embrace the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their workforce outperformed their peers.

SGEnable has an array of support schemes that offer wage rebates, subsidised training and purchase of assistive technology products. If you are in a hiring position, these are the resources you can tap on:

Employer Support Schemes by SGEnable
Open Door Programme

Workplace Integration

Orinda, Christina & Vanessa Visit Toyota
Workplace integration at Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, where one of our guide dog users is employed as a Marketing Executive

A person with vision impairment would need some help to understand the layout of a new workplace in order to know how to access the different areas independently. Whether the employee is a white cane or guide dog user, our Orientation & Mobility Specialists and Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) can support him/her to navigate independently.

If your employee is a guide dog user, our GDMI will work with the company to ensure a conducive space for the dog to settle while the employee is at work. Rest assured the dog is trained to stay put in a designated space and does not disturb other employees. We also offer outreach talks to help your company have a better understanding of vision impairment and guide dogs.

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Training programme customised for our clients to support their desire to be independent.
Training programme customised for our clients to support their desire to be independent.

Digital Accessibility

With the help of built-in accessibility functions on smart phone, and assistive technology (e.g. screen reading applications like JAWS), people with vision impairment can use the internet and mobile applications to get information and shop for essential items. Singapore is relatively new in ensuring digital accessibility for vision impaired users. If you are keen to learn more about how you might be able to implement or improve accessibility of your company’s existing applications and content, please contact us.

Read more about Accessibility & Technology

Vision-Impairment Friendly Accessible Building Design

In Singapore, The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) champions the development and transformation of the built environment sector, in order to improve Singapore’s living environment. BCA focuses on developing a user-friendly built environment through promoting the concept of Universal Design (UD) for buildings and public places where the young, the old, and persons with disabilities can work, live and play.

BCA encourages building owners and developers to adopt UD in their developments. There are several guidelines available to raise awareness on the needs of persons with disabilities, the elderly as well as families, and guides designers in incorporating UD principles in the design of public transport facilities, hawker centres, shopping centres, and so on.

Here are two guidelines on BCA website for references:

Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment 2019  – Appendix D

Universal Design Guide for Public Places 2016

Read more about Universal Design (UD) in BCA Website

Videos

Spread the word. It’s the least you can do.

Stories

Lionel Tan

Lionel Tan
I am now holding a full-time job at Apple and studying part-time in Republic Polytechnic.

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Aloysius Fu, Teacher from Kheng Cheng School

Aloysius Fu
We’ve learned a lot about vision impairment and the community!

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Ganesan Alagappan

Ganesan Alagappan
Inspires our employees to bring the awareness back home to their family and friends

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A white guide dog smiling happily at the camera

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