Sighted Guide Instruction


Step 1: Guide establishes contact by touching back of traveler’s hand with a verbal cue.

Step 2: Traveler slides hand up guide’s arm to grip guide above elbow

Grip Arm Position of Traveler:
 Lower arm parallel to floor/ground
 Elbow bent at 90 degree angle
 Upper arm touching body

Walking Position:

  1. Guide walks ½ step ahead of traveler

  2. Traveler’s shoulder is directly behind guide’s opposite shoulder


  1. Guide moves his/her arm to center of back

  2. Traveler moves directly behind guide

  3. Traveler extends arm so he/she does not step on guide’s heels


  1. Guide states direction door moves (push, pull) and slide (left/right)

  2. Gide reaches doorway first, opens door

  3. Traveler moves directly behind guide

  4. Guide pauses for traveler to hold (and close) door

  5. If door is on opposite side of traveler’s empty hand, tell traveler to switch sides before approaching door.


  1. Guide approaches steps or curbs squarely (from perpendicular angle) to ensure he/she gets to edge first.

  2. Tell traveler about curb/steps. If necessary, whether steps go up or down.

  3. Guide stops at edge of first step, gives time for traveler to move up and locate edge with foot.

  4. Curbs—Guide steps up/down curb, traveler follows.

  5. Stairs—Guide goes up/down steps on stair step ahead of traveler. Pause at landing. Allow traveler to hold on to railing, if available.

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