(T) Tactile Graphics for Blind and Visually Impaired People (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter t graphic is on top center. Text below reads tactile graphics
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter T graphic is available here.

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. I also hope to address misconceptions regarding the blind and low vision community.

In this post I want to bring attention to tactile graphics. This allows people who are blind or have low vision access maps, graphs and drawings.

I have not had an opportunity to use these tools myself but I wanted to put this out there and I hope it will help others. These tools make math and science accessible and easier to grasp for those who are blind or have low vision.

Here are some helpful videos.

(S) Spectrum | Blindness is on a Spectrum (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter s graphic is on top center. Text below reads spectrum blindness is on a spectrum
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter S graphic is available here.

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 address misconceptions that exist about blindness and low vision. In this post I want to bring attention to the point that blindness is on a spectrum.

Blindness can range from no light perception to usable vision. The term visually impaired can include a totally blind person but it is most commonly used to refer to a person that has some sight and you may also see the terms low vision or partially sighted.

Every blind or visually impaired person is unique, this includes the amount of sight they have all the way to how independent they are. Yes it is possible for blind and visually impaired people to be fully independent but it does take training, practice and it is up to each individual to get there at their own pace. It is important not to take one experience that is had with one person and generalize that upon the entire blind and low vision community. Every person grows at their own pace.

People that have some sight may still use the same tools as a totally blind person such as braille, a white cane or a guide dog and they may also use glasses along with these tools. It is best to ask a person what they can or can not see before making assumptions. The video below gives some more insight into this matter.

You can learn more about what I can see and not see here.

(R) Recreation for Blind and Visually Impaired People to Olympic Games (#AToZChallenge 2021)

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My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired. I also hope to address some misconceptions regarding the blind and low vision community. In this post I want to highlight some recreation activities that have become olympic sports that are accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.

Skiing

Yes it is possible to race down a snow covered mountain when you are blind or visually impaired. This is possible with the help of a teammate as they provide audio description. Skiing is not just for recreation but blind and visually impaired athletes compete at the olympic level. Here is a video demonstrating how it is done.

Judo

Judo is a form of Japanese martial art. This is another olympic sport that is accessible to blind or low vision athletes. Learn more in the videos below.

Football 5-a-side

This is similar to FIFA football with a few modifications. Here is how it is done at the olympic level.

Some extra thoughts

It is possible for blind to enjoy sports and even take part at an olympic level. You can find a list of olympic sports that are accessible to blind and visually impaired people here.

(P) Phones | A Person who is Blind or has Low Vision can use a Cellphone (#AToZChallenge)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter p graphic is on top center of image. Text below reads phones a person who is blind or has low vision can use a Cellphone
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter P graphic is available here.

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 break down the misconceptions that still exist regarding the blind and visually impaired community. In this post I will discuss the topic of phones. 

A few years ago there was a post on Facebook that showed a photo of a woman with a white cane looking at her mobile phone. And in the post she was accused of faking her vision impairment because she was able to look at her phone. You can read an article on this here.

This post is an example of the lack of education there is regarding vision impairment and the spectrum that exists when it comes to visual impairment. Blindness can range from total blindness to light perception to some usable vision. 

I have low vision and I use glasses with a high prescription and I use a white cane when I am out on my own to let others know I can not see well and for safety reasons. This could have been me looking at my phone. This could have also been any  screen reader user trying to listen to their phone. 

Blind and visually impaired people are able to use mobile phones with the help of assistive text to speech software that reads out the text on the screen and the user can interact with items on the screen by swiping and double tapping. 

(O) OrCam | Assistive Technology for People who are Blind or have Low Vision (#AToZChallenge)

The blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter o graphic is on top center of image. Text below reads OrCam assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter O graphic is available here.

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. I also want to show that it is possible for a person who is blind or has low vision can lead an independent life. I hope to break some of the misconceptions that exist about people who are blind or have low vision. Today I want to highlight a piece of assistive technology that makes it possible for a blind or visually impaired person to complete many tasks independently.

This piece of technology is called OrCam. It is a small device that can be attached to glasses if desired. This device is able to read text, turning it into speech. It is also able to recognize faces after images are programmed.

This device is able to identify products allowing independent shopping. It is able to identify products via barcodes as well. This device can identify money and colors as well. It does not need an internet connection to work.

I think it is important to have this kind of technology because it allows a person to be fully independent as they do not have to rely on a shopping assistant as this can be used to identify products. It may take longer but it could be done independently.

Here are some demonstrations of how it works.

I would like to get one of these for myself as it would be very helpful for me. I am very thankful for this technology.

You can learn more about OrCam here.