Observe and ASK before assisting

The person may decline assistance and prefer to sort things out for themsleves. They may only need one piece of information. Please, NEVER grab their arm! That distracts and pulls them off balance. If they ask for assistance, ask how you can help. The following techniques are commonly used:

Holding the elbow

The person you are guiding holds YOUR arm slightly above your elbow. Walking half-a-step behind The person you are guiding walks slightly behind you so that you can safely lead.

Going down steps

When approaching steps, pause briefly so that the person who is blind or visually impaired knows to expect a change in the ground's surface.

Reaching the end of the stairs

Pause briefly at the end of stairs so that the person you are guiding knows that you have reached the platform.

Going through narrow doorways

Put your arm behind your back when you are walking through narrow spaces. The person you are guiding will feel your arm movement and step behind you so that both of you can walk single file.


If you need to turn around, announce it. Then face the person you are guiding and allow the person to take your other arm.

Approaching a chair

Place your hand on the back of the chair. The person you are guiding will slide the hand that was holding onto your elbow down your arm and to your hand on the seat back.

Great video demonstrates best prctices