Hotel and Restaurant Tips for Assisting Those Who Are Blind

Offering Assistance to Guests

  • State your name and ask, “May I help you?”
  • Use a normal tone of voice and speak directly to the person, not to someone with them.
  • It is appropriate to say “May I offer you assistance to the elevator” . . . or to other locations.
  • Use directions such as “right” or “left” — NEVER use phrases such as “Over There” or “That Way”
  • Use distance clues such as “About 20 feet on your right,” or “About 10 steps straight ahead.”
  • Give specific clues about specific areas – “The tile leads to the elevator” or “The noise is from the bar.” Offer your elbow for the guest to hold on to as you guide them to a location — do NOT grab their arm.
  • Walk at a normal pace.
  • Pause at steps — let them know if they are u/down and location of the handrail.
  • NEVER leave the individual standing in an open area, show them to the side of the room, next to a table, or to the back of a chair.
  • Tell the guest when you intend to leave them — “Is there anything else I can do for you before I leave?”
  • It is appropriate to use phrases like “Nice to see you,” or “You look nice today.”


  • The desk clerk should state their name and ask, “May I help you?”
  • Electronic Keys — Place a piece of tape on the end that does NOT feed into the lock or clip the bottom right corner.
  • Offer two options at check-in — 1) Directions to the elevator (To your left is a hallway — walk about 15 feet down that hallway and the elevators will be on your right.), or 2) The services of a Bellman to escort them to their room.
  • Either the desk clerk or the bellman should explain a basic lay-out of the hotel there are two restaurants on the ground floor, the exercise room is located on the 5th floor and we have two pools one on the roof and one on the ground floor.
  • In the hotel room, the Bellman should ask if the guest would like him or her to describe the room . . . the remote control is on top of the TV, the telephone is on the left side of the bed, the internet cables are on the desk on the right side of the room, the coffee pot is located on a shelf in the bathroom . . .

Housekeeping Assistance

When cleaning, DO NOT move personal items (toothbrushes, shampoo, clothing, paperwork, etc.)

Restaurants or Banquets

  • Announce when you put down a glass/plate and where you put it — “Your water is at 11 0’clock.”
  • Use the clock face (12, 3, 6 and 9) to describe where food is located on the plate — “The chicken is at 12, the potato at 3 and vegetable at 9.”
  • Announce when you are removing dishes or refilling a liquid.
  • The server may ask the guest if they would prefer for their meat to be cut in the kitchen.
  • Do not pull the chair out. Instead, place the guest’s hand on the back of the chair.

Dog Guides

  • Speak to the guest, not to the dog. The dog is working and should never be distracted.
  • NEVER pet the dog – NEVER feed the dog.
  • At check-in, describe where the dog can be relieved, and the closest trash can. Alert bellmen on all shifts.