In my humble opinion, this is what I think should happen for a blind or partially sighted person whenever they go to a buffet table. It is the way that mom and I do it and it has worked perfectly for me.
Mom waits until there are not too many persons at the buffet. Next I take her arm and we walk to the beginning end of the table. She hands me my plate and then proceeds to tell me what each dish is. I tell her what I want if I am familiar with the dish and if I do not know what it is, or she does not know what it is, she describes it to me as best as she can.
Mom carefully arranges my food on my plate and I pay attention to where she is placing it. She never overloads my plate so as not to cause too much clutter. By doing this, I am comfortable with what is on my plate and how to navigate it. This means however, that I would need to go to the buffet more than once. So here is how we do it.
First, we visit the cold stuff and choose our food. We may include soup in this trip if either of us wants it. When we are finished we tackle the hot food in two stages. She only describes what we are going to take. That is, she breaks it up into manageable portions for us both, only describing a few at a time until my plate is manageable.
Finally, the dessert. In the case of this, mom describes the entire dessert table to me and then I choose. We never go more than once to the dessert table.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan, your friendly accessibility advocate, wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to share my words with others. Visit www.nfb.org to learn more.