Working out who’s at the door can be difficult when you have a visual impairment. Some callers don’t make it easy! Thankfully, though, Judith’s postman is a shining example of how to get it right.
This week I should like to tell you about my postman. You may think this is a strange topic for a blog but bear with me.
Over the years, many postmen have trudged up many paths delivering bulky, heavy braille packages to me. Most have done this with a good will. Recently, my regular postman has called out, “Hello, it’s Posty!” to identify himself when I have opened the door in response to his ringing on the bell.
Occasionally, a less cheery mail delivery person has simply grunted and pushed the packages at me. It is impossible for me to know whether he is naturally grumpy or just doesn’t know what to say.
Anyone who announces themselves when I open the door gets a metaphorical gold star from me. Having to guess who is calling at your door is very unsatisfactory! However, my current postman gets several gold stars. Not only does he announce himself by saying “Hello, Judith, it’s the postman,” (and yes he did ask my permission to use my name), but he also describes the post to me.
For instance, he told me recently, “You’ve got two parcels labelled ‘Articles for the Blind’, one white A4 envelope, an NHS letter, and a pizza leaflet. Shall I put that leaflet in the recycling for you?”
We generally have a brief chat and then I go back inside feeling cheered.
Lately, he has taken in interest in braille itself and so I wrote out the word “postman” for him with the print letters underneath. He read it as he walked down the road and called back to me, “I notice A is one dot. Does that mean B is two dots?”
It is, but it isn’t quite as simple as that! The letter C isn’t three dots, so I am going to write the whole alphabet out for him.
I don’t expect every person I interact with to instinctively know all my needs. Not everyone will have had disability training. It is exciting though to find someone who has thought about what my needs might be and goes about meeting those needs in a cheerful and friendly manner.