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Eyes & Vision


Instructor assisting aboriginal client

Vision loss happens for different reasons, and this affects how people see. Some people get blurred or
patchy vision. Others have problems with their central or side vision. Glasses don’t always help. A person’s vision can change daily depending on lighting, weather conditions and their general health. Often you can’t always tell if a person has trouble seeing. People with Guide Dogs and canes may have some limited but useful vision.

Practical tips to help people with vision loss

Giving Directions
When offering help:
• Always introduce yourself
• Ask the person if they need assistance
• Ask how you can help

Assisting at the table infographic

 Assisting at the table

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Offer to read the menu
  3. Tell the person what items you bring to the table, such as menus, drinks or meals
  4. Offer to explain what is on the table or plate, using a clock-face explanation (i.e your drink is at 2’oclock). See meal layout right
  5. if a person has a guide dog, speak to them and their dog

When giving directions, be clear and remember: Left means their left, not yours. Directions like, “It’s just over there” isn’t enough for those who are blind. Try the “clock-face” technique. This is a simple way to describe the location.

Food on a plate, displaying clock face technique


Every day activities like going to a café can be made easier with some simple assistance. Some people may be able to read the menu whilst others may not. If you’re not sure, just ask.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provides help to people with different levels of vision loss from all walks of life and age groups. They
offer a range of services and will come to you. All orientation and mobility services including Guide Dogs are completely free to anyone who needs them.

If you need help call Guide Dogs on 1800 804 805 or contact your nearest office: