Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gestures That Do Not Speak

Very often, I need to keep reminding sighted acquaintances and associates that whenever they make gestures, I am unable to know what they are; gestures do not speak.  Gestures are great for those who can see them but when you are blind and are unable to see them, they become a hindrance, a barrier, and an unwanted part of our lives.  Here are just a few examples of gestures that we are unable to benefit from.


The nodding of the head.  Many sighted persons use it to confirm a yes or no but we are unable to see this.  So it's better to speak your yes or no confirmations.

A wave of the hand to signify a greeting.  We can't see this so it's better to call your greeting to us.

The shrugging of a shoulder.  In similar fashion to the nodding of one's head. 


I recognize that most of the time, it is easier to use gestures but when it is not possible to see them, then gestures need to be translated into words.  Of course, when you are blind, it is sometimes a blessing when you don't see someone's gestures; like giving one the finger!  Smile!


To learn more about gestures and how a sighted person could turn them into the spoken word, visit www.nfb.org. 


I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and inviting you to go out there and help educate others about how to turn gestures into spoken words.

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