Definitions: VIP = Visually Impaired Person
- Whenever you speak to a VIP say your name, this is especially true when there are several people present and at the first welcome greeting.
- To effectively greet a VIP, it is a good idea to shake hands for contact personally set a person at ease more quickly. Extend your hand and say, “My hand is extended”, so the VIP will know to reach for your hand in greeting.
- To orient a VIP to a larger area, use the face of a clock and assume that you are standing at 6 o’clock. Orientation is not a detailed description, but identification of major parts of the area. “The Receptionist Desk is at 12 o’clock”, and “the seating area is at 3 o’clock”.
- If the VIP uses a dog guide, ignore the dog completely.
- If the VIP is accompanied by a driver or escort, offer that assistant a seat, to wait for the interview to finish.
- The assistant should not be involved in any way with the interview.
- You may offer assistance to guide the VIP to an interview or other area , “Do you want assistance to the Interview Area?” You assist a VIP to travel by standing to the right side and allowing the person to hold your left upper arm and then walk naturally. Indicate direction in a normal “matter of fact” voice during polite conversation, “We are coming to stairs; there are 5 stairs a landing and then ten more to the top”. “We are turning right / left”. “The Rest Rooms are the third door on your left”. When passing through doors you must open, “The door is on the left / right (depending on which side of the VIP the door opens)”
- A VIP using a dog guide will want some direction on where the dog can lie at rest during an interview so the dog is out of traffic lanes, “Your guide can lie behind your chair.”
- When in doubt about what to do, simply ask , “How may I assist you?”
- At the end of the interview, return your visitor to the place where you met and the VIP will leave as she came.
- A simple way to offer accessible documents or other information that might be on business cards or interview hand-outs is to offer to send this information by e-mail because that is always accessible.