Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

What Would You Do If Someone Grabs Your Arm?

Empish Crossing intersectionI recently read a post by Crista Earl with the American Foundation for the Blind. The post was title “What Do You Do When Sighted People Grab Your Arm in Public?” As I read it I reflected back on my early days as a blind person when I was taking rehabilitation training here at CVI. I was standing at the corner of Peachtree and Third Street waiting patiently to cross. I remember what my mobility instructor had told me about the traffic signal and how to listen to the flow of traffic. But a man came up and asked me if I needed help to cross the street. I politely declined and said “no thank you.” But next thing I knew he was grabbing my arm and literally dragging me across Peachtree Street. I was in shock. I was angry. I felt humiliated. I felt embarrassed. Did I not tell this man that I didn’t need any help?! Yet he took it upon himself to “assist” me anyway. So, what do you do when a sighted person grabs your arm in public? Since I was fairly new to vision loss back then and had never had that happen to me I didn’t know how to handle the situation. By the time I got my mental Barings together the situation was over and the man was gone. But all of this is what Crista addresses in her blog post

So please read it and let’s discuss. How do you handle well-meaning and sometimes overly zealous people who want to help you? What tips or suggestions can you share to maintain your dignity and self-respect when people go overboard? Enter your comments in the section below and let’s talk about what to do when sighted people grab your arm in public.


June, that is great to know. Yes, please pass on the information. It is good to talk and share about things like this so that we can be prepared. People grabbing your arm can be a scary thing but if you are prepared you can try to nicely defuse the situation.

Comment by Empish; February 04, 2016 3:29pm