Suggestions for welcoming a guest with visual impairment:
* Relax and smile. There's no reason to be nervous.
* Introduce yourself and speak to the person directly and include the person in any ongoing conversation. * Remember there's no need to raise your voice.
* Allow a person with visual impairment to handle a child's natural curiosity in his or her own way. * Ask before assuming a person with visual impairment needs help. * Allow a person to hold on to your arm.
* A person with walking difficulty might appreciate a chair at Reception. * Ask a person if they would like a description of surroundings. Pay attention to your conversation and inform them directly if something occurs to distract you. * Watch the reaction of a person with visual impairment. If you sense confusion, a discreet offer to help might be welcome. * Respect a person's cane. Leave it within the person's reach; it is vital to their security and the ability to move. * Remember a guide dog is not a pet. While the guide dog accompanies a person, you should allow it to devote its attention to that person. * Tell a person with visual impairment if you need to leave their presence. * Place him/her at a convenient space at reception and do not leave them in the centre of a big room alone. * When checking out offer to inform them verbally about the charges. Other tips to help provide high quality service:
* "See you later", “Nice to see you", “I've never seen anything like it," and other phrases are common colloquialisms used by everyone, including blind people. Don't be embarrassed or self-conscious about using similar words. * Allow a person with visual impairment to make his or her own choices. Help only to communicate alternatives. * Few of us like others prying into our personal affairs. Let a person with sight loss initiate any discussion of blindness in general or of his or her blindness, in particular. * The life of a person with sight loss is "normal" to that person. Like the rest of us people with sight loss prefer understanding to pity. * When helping, let a person with sight loss set the agenda. It's not proper to grab a person with sight loss and manhandle him or her in order to help. * Help by saying ‘Step up’ or ‘Step down’ as appropriate. * Always describe a route as you are guiding someone.
* Do not allow staff to move items in a bedroom being used by a blind or visually impaired person. Suggestions for welcoming a guest with hearing impairment:
* Relax and smile. People with a hearing impairment want to make communication easier. * Touch a person with a hearing impairment lightly on the arm or shoulder to attract his or her attention. * If you have a hearing loop mention this to the customer. * Face the person.
* Look and speak directly at the hearing-impaired person even if a signing interpreter is present. * Realise noisy or distracting environments can hinder communication. * Remember many hearing-impaired people rely on speech-reading to help understand what is being said. * Shouting or speaking with exaggerated slowness confuses speech-reading. * Do nothing that will distort your speech, such as eating, chewing gum or smoking. * Pay attention to the hearing-impaired person's reactions. A puzzled look might mean you need to clarify or repeat your remark. * Rephrase any remark that is misunderstood.
Other tips to help provide high quality service
* The archaic term, "deaf and dumb," while technically accurate for someone who truly cannot hear or speak, should never be used. It could be considered to be offensive. * A person with a hearing impairment rightfully resents the handicap being used against him or her - such when someone shields his or her mouth or turns away to cut the hearing-impaired out of the conversation. * You can always use a notepad and pencil in an emergency. * Anticipate situations in which a...
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