How can visually impaired teenagers integrate into a group during university studies?

written by

When the time comes to enter higher education, many visually impaired young men and women face difficulties transitioning to this new stage of life. It’s not surprising, as many of them previously studied in specialized schools for people with visual impairments, and thus, primarily interacted with visually impaired or blind classmates.

However, in university, these young people will have to step out of their comfort zone and mostly build communications with people who might not have considered the challenges faced by the visually impaired. Therefore, becoming part of a new academic group can be challenging and, frankly, a bit scary.

But in reality, there’s no need to worry too much, as there are several simple life hack tips that can significantly ease the adaptation process into a new group, even if you have visual impairments.


At the beginning, a visually impaired person might feel a certain stiffness and uncertainty when interacting with sighted people. Many sighted individuals simply may not fully understand what it’s like to be visually impaired, which complicates understanding how visually impaired people perceive the world. However, these “perception barriers” can be reduced.

The first step towards this should be taken by the visually impaired person themselves, as it’s important not to be afraid to engage with others, to show initiative and interest in communication, while of course, respecting other people. This way, those around you will notice you faster and, more importantly, understand that you are eager to communicate and can connect with everyone on equal terms. This will also help people realize that you are potentially an interesting person with your own views on life, experiences, and opinions.

The key is to find common ground with your interlocutors, common topics for conversation, hobbies, anything that brings you closer. Humor can help with this, a good joke that lightens the mood and makes your interlocutor more inclined towards you. Don’t be shy about sharing your health specifics either, as knowledge of them will allow others to get to know and understand you better.

However, it’s important to understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to people. Everything is individual. Sometimes a joke is enough, sometimes a heart-to-heart talk is needed. It’s important to feel and catch the person’s vibe. Understand their state and act based on this understanding.

a company

It might happen that you, being visually impaired, could face discrimination due to your condition. In such cases, it’s best to distance yourself from such interactions, as they are destructive.

To be more specific, for comfortable communication, you should follow a few simple tips:

  • First and foremost, it’s best if you make the first step towards communication.
  •  Secondly, stay calm and friendly, which will help you to maintain a better relationship with your interlocutor.
  • Thirdly, openly and without embarrassment, talk about your vision and answer questions. This will demonstrate that you can live a full life even with an impairment.
  • Fourthly, don’t isolate yourself from the group or fail to show initiative, and don’t refuse help.

In conclusion, it’s important to understand that all people and groups are different, and attitudes towards people with visual impairments vary greatly. However, this is no reason to avoid or be shy about making new acquaintances and engaging in communication.

It’s crucial to be communicative, to engage, and not be afraid of seeming like an “odd one out” due to your characteristics. You should aim to expand your social circle and be able to communicate with various interesting people.