A Study of Some Alternatives to Eye contact in Communications of Blind People

Nooshin Pourmollaabasi

Preferred Citation

Pourmollaabasi, N. (2013). A study of some alternatives to eye contact in communications of blind people. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 3(1). Retrieved from https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir13/jbir030102abs.html. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/2F1-39


This study evaluated some alternatives to eye contact in the communications of speaking blind people in terms of four major functions: showing attention, determining direct addressee, signaling readiness and turn-taking. Twenty visually impaired females with an average age of 28 years old were randomly selected from a blind database at Esfahan blind rehabilitation center. The participants were assigned to four congenital totally blind, adventitious totally blind, congenital partially sighted and adventitious partially sighted groups. Therefore, each individual groups sat around a rectangular table in a room talking about the blind marriage approximately in 30 minutes. 4 videos were taped and analyzed in two sessions. The collected data were also analyzed through three statistical procedures and SPSS18.0. According to the data analyses, the frequency distributions of the alternatives used by totally blind and partially sighted groups were almost identical. It means that all outcomes have not statistically been significant. Likewise, congenital and adventitious totally blind groups were different in using the alternatives to eye contact. Owing to this, the outcomes have statistically been significant. Findings demonstrate that 'showing attention' was the most common alternative to eye contact used by all groups. Congenital totally blind participants also used 'determining direct addressee' with the most frequency distribution while adventitious totally blind ones used 'readiness and turn-taking' more than other alternatives to eye contact. Consequently, it is necessary that the blind individuals from the childhood to learn how to use some substitutes for making eye contact through their communications. It is also necessary for their parents to get information and assistance to treat and communicate with their blind children.


eye contact, totally blind, partially sighted, visually impairment, congenital, adventitious

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/2F1-39

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2014 to the National Federation of the Blind.