The Braille Institute of America knows every 7 minutes someone in the U.S. loses their sight, often as a part of the aging process. Here are 10 essential tips for setting up a home, or accommodating a visiting person with limited vision. It’s information we can all use!
Vision Loss: 10 Vital Tips for Anyone living in or visiting the home
- DO NOT MOVE ANYTHING unless you put it back exactly where you found it. Visually impaired people have it down precisely how far back or far away from something a thing is. Moving it can cause confusion and frustration as they search by feel for it.
- CONTRAST COLORS. We are used to black on white, like this article, but in fact many visually impaired people see better with light writing on a dark background.
- LOTS OF LIGHT. Open curtains, turn lights on, let the sunshine in! Low Vision sufferers see better in well lit conditions, allowing a better definition of objects and contrast of color and light.
- BEWARE OF HAZARDS lurking below the knees. Do a walk around focusing on the area below the knee, are there any obstacles hiding against the baseboards or protruding from the walls?
- DOORWAY TO HELL. Most doorways, especially in modular and mobile homes aren’t wide enough to fit a walker or wheelchair. Look for door wideners (offset hinges) that can amazingly expand doorway widths 2 inches.
- LOOKING GLASS. Glasses help even when they don’t make reading better. Glasses sometimes help with balance, as it keeps focus in a smaller area and allow the brain to adapt.
- HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. Rugs. Knives in a drawer. Metal tops from opened cans. Round objects not in a container. Animals. Ice Makers on door of fridge. Loose Wires. What else?
- MY MARKER, MY FRIEND. Use a large black marker to make recognizable marks on Medicine tops, cleaners, can tops, anything that has small writing.
- TV LISTING. Seems so simple, doesn’t it? But if you can’t see the TV you have to listen, and if you can’t see the channel, you can’t go to a program you want to listen to. Also, make a list of favorite programs in large print with the channel listed next to it.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST. Contact your state’s Commission for the Blind. They provide vision exams, visual aides, and even voice recognition training and software when approved.