The paper also outlines strategies people with visual impairment use to navigate these situations.
“This work validates the lived experiences of people with visual impairment,” says Lynsey Romo, corresponding author of the study and an associate professor of communication at North Carolina State University. “It also provides tangible ways blind and visually impaired individuals, as well as sighted people, can use communication to create more positive social interactions.”
“I’ve encountered countless instances of uncomfortable interactions with others, but the turning point for me was when I brought my guide dog to the vet and she talked to my driver as if I weren’t in the room,” says study coauthor Melissa Taussig, a mental health professional with a lifelong visual impairment. “That visit was the catalyst for me to collaborate with Lynsey to explore how other people living with blindness or visual impairment navigate these circumstances.”