My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired and to squash misconceptions regarding blindness and low vision.
One of the misconceptions that some people have about blind or visually impaired people is that they are not able to live independently. People think that they need a caregiver at all times. In this post I want to share that it is possible for a blind person to live independently. I am visually impaired myself and I do still live with my parents but this is my choice and it has nothing to do with my vision impairment.
How a person who is blind or has low vision handles money
First, to have money, you must have a source of income. It is true that over 70 percent of people that are blind or visually impaired are unemployed, but it is possible for a blind or visually impaired person to hold a job in various career fields and to perform the work as well as their sighted peers due to assistive technology. I will be discussing jobs in my next post in this series. Let’s get back to the matter of money. There are apps that can identify dollar bills and there are ways to organize money in a wallet to keep track of each amount. Most banks have now moved online and this makes things even more accessible information can be accessed using screen reads which are text to speech programs that read the text on the screen. Banks also offer large print checks and some banking cards can have braille added to them. A person who is blind or has low vision is able to manage their finances independently.
I will also add how the mail and Bill’s are read.
How a person who is blind or has low vision cooks and shops for groceries
A person who is blind or has low vision shops for groceries like everyone else. They can go to a physical store and the only difference is that they may ask for a shopping assistant to help them locate items. All stores should offer this service to their customers that need it. There is also an app called AiRA that connects to a trained agent over video call and they can assist a vlind or visually impaired person to navigate a store and locate items. Delivery services have become more widely available as well allowing all the shopping to be done online from home.
Cooking without sight is not much different from cooking with sight. There are tools that make certain kitchen tasks more accessible. There are talking food thermometers and talking scales There are measuring spoons and cups with braille and large print labels. There are tips and hacks that make things safer and easier but it is very possible to cook without sight.
How a person who is blind or has low vision handles daily living and household tasks
When it comes to getting dressed a blind or visually impaired person is able to pick out their own clothes and have their own style. I wrote more about that here..
A blind or visually impaired person is able to do laundry independently. Machines can be made accessible with bump dots to identify buttons on a touch screen. This system works for all touch screen machines around the home.
Cleaning can be done by touch and it may not be perfect but it is doable.
Some extra thoughts
I hope that this gives you a better insight into what is possible. Please leave any questions in the comments below.