How To Tell If Someone With A Guide Dog Needs Some Help
In the video, you see a lady walking along with her guide dog.
The text on the TikTok video says: "How to tell if someone with a guide dog needs help."
Then - the little known tip: "Easy - the owner lets go of the handle and places it on the dog's back."
Bet you didn't know that. And then, what should you do to make sure you don't startle them?
According to the video, which was created by 31-year-old Jemma Brown, you ask them if they need help.
If they say yes, you say you will go to the other side of the dog and offer them your arm to take, then lead them across the road, or the area they are unsure about.
Jemma, from Southampton made the video that starred her mum and her mum's seventh guide dog, Vivvy.
Speaking to LADbible, Jemma explained why guide dogs are so important.
She said: "My mum's guide dogs allow her to be my mum. When I was a kid it meant she could take me to nursery and school and for days out in the summer holidays.
"Our guide dogs give us independence and confidence and are truly life changing! My mum has no vision at all and I am blind with some useable vision."
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Jemma had put up an 'Ask Me Anything' for her followers, and one question she gets asked often is how to tell if someone with a visual impairment needs help.
She explained that although people often mean well, in the past she has been grabbed by a stranger with no warning who thought they were being helpful.
She said: "This is horrible as its sudden and quite scary. I mean picture the scene, you're a woman walking down a street on your own maybe in the dark and a random person suddenly grabs hold of you... it immediately puts me on edge.
"The most important thing is to never grab a visually impaired person without consent."
Another tip she gave was that although you think it's helpful to stop your car to let someone with a guide dog cross - it's best not to.
Jemma said: "Guide dogs are trained not to walk out if there is engine noise so if you do stop and it's not a pelican crossing or a zebra crossing we will just wave you on.
"It's very well meaning and kind but if it's pouring down with rain and we have to wave lots of cars on it takes longer to cross the road."
There are other things to look out for if you want to help people.
Jemma added: "Areas with no curbs, for example, shared streets are really dangerous. Guide dogs are trained to stop at curbs and await instructions - cane users, as I am right now, use curbs to know where the pavement ends and the road begins. Only a few weeks ago I was in an area I didn't know well and walked into a road because there was no curb.
"There were no cars coming I was only aware of what I had done when one tried to turn in and I was in the middle of the road - things like this knock our confidence!
"The time you are most likely to see a guide dog owner place the handle on the dogs back is when they are at a road and they need assistance to cross (e.g. the road is very busy or there are roadworks meaning they cant hear traffic etc) or in retail if they are trying to get help from shop staff."
To find out more, you can visit the Guide Dogs website here.
Featured Image Credit: TikTok/Jemma Brown
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