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Tips for the Visually Impaired

Category Self Help
Visually Impaired Reader Using Magnifying Glass
A vision impairment does not mean you can no longer enjoy reading or other regular activities. It just means that you will need to research and use new options. This guide contains tips for the visually impaired.
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Solutions

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July 20, 2011

Do you love to read but have trouble with standard print? Do you have physical problems that make holding a standard or larger book difficult or impossible? This library is for you.

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I first learned about the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLSBP) after that near-fatal encounter with a drunk driver. Being left almost totally blind robbed me of my ability to read print of any size. I was going crazy from boredom! I wish I could remember who first mentioned this special library so I could thank them. This service has once again opened the world of books to me.

The NLSBP loans reading matter in Braille and audio format to eligible US citizens of all ages, both Stateside and abroad. Of course, they also provide the equipment. I have both a digital Talking Book machine (DTBM) and a C1-style cassette Talking Book player. (I tried the EZ style, but the C1 wasn't hard to learn and works better.) Both styles of reading machine come with instructions. The digital player's instructions are built in, the cassette machine's instructions are included in cassette format with every machine. Both machine styles are mine on permanent loan. If something goes wrong, I just contact the library and they send me a new machine.

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All items are sent free for the blind or physically handicapped. I receive mine from my closest cooperating library, which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. However, there are cooperating libraries nationwide. To speak to a librarian in your service area during normal business hours, call 1-888-NLS-READ (toll free.)

Here's the link to the NLSBP home page. The phone number above, I located by scrolling to the line that reads "for more information, press enter" and then I hit enter, lol!

And here's the page where you can learn who's eligible:

Once you're determined eligible, you can branch out. I download some books from my Cleveland Library catalog website, and some from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website. I also download my fave magazine, Reader's Digest, free from the American Printinghouse for the Blind (APH) website. Hope I'm not overwhelming you with information. Happy reading!

By JustPlainJo from Springfield, Ohio

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Comment Was this helpful? 7

By 5 found this helpful
November 23, 2009

If you're like me, and need reading glasses, you may not be able to distinguish the shampoo and cream rinse in the shower due to their similar appearance. I take a thick permanent marker and put a big "S" and "C" on the corresponding bottles. It works a lot better than wearing your reading glasses in the shower.

By Kathleen from Chicago, IL

Comment Was this helpful? 5

By 1 found this helpful
August 19, 2015

Between age and infirmity, I often do not see what's right in front of me, and I am plagued with not being able to find things. Keeping a list "lifts" the worry from my busy mind, so I am not crawling out of bed at 2AM to search for something I remember having lost.

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I keep a list of these on my table. When someone comes to visit, I ask to "borrow" their eyes to look for these things. Often they are found within minutes and we both have a good laugh.

The funniest time was when my daughter came to help me look for something and she pulled open my kitchen utensil drawer and found an old stick of margarine lying in it. I do not remember losing that, but I'm glad she found it before the weather got hot.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

February 7, 20050 found this helpful

You can increase or decrease the reading fonts in your browser:

PCs

For PCs in Microsoft Internet Explorer use CTRL and the mouse scroll wheel

In Netscape use CTRL + to make type larger and CTRL - to make type smaller.

This works better with some websites than others. It probably depends on how well they are programmed.

Macs

When you are using the Safari browser you can increase the font size by using Command (the Apple key) and +.

For newer Macs using OsX you can also zoom in on the type in any program.

You can turn on the zoom capability by using Command (the Apple key), Option and 8 (all at the same time).

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Once it is turned on, you can zoom in on anything in any program by using Command, Option, and = for Zoom In Command, Option and - to Zoom Out

Newsletter for Visually Challenged Readers

One newsletter, the Dear Webby Humor Letter, even has an extra version for visually challenged readers, and hopefully others will provide that service soon too. Dear Webby is a contributor to ThriftyFun and has been a good friend to us. His newsletter is family friendly. For more information go to: http://www.webby.com/humor/

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I live in a retirement community and we have a lady who comes to play games with us! Several of our members cannot see well enough to do crossword and we were wondering if you could suggest a method for us to do that? Also, we do play a "guessing" type game, where the leader gives the first 2 letters and then the definition of a word.

We are trying to find a way for all of us to do crossword because it is a favorite. We also do Wheel of Fortune and words w/o vowels and try to guess the word from the consonants. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you for considering us.

Lucille H and Ruth K

By Lu H

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 17, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Take the crossword to a copy center and have it enlarged; or (alternately), scan it into your computer and print it out larger--though you may have to piece it together. If you want to do it as a group, see if you can get a hold of an overhead projector, and copy the crossword puzzle onto a transparency slide (many home printers can do this, or you can do it at a copy center. This might cost a wee bit more, but the puzzled can be reused!

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June 17, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have a suggestion for a game. Make some cards with letters on them (one per card) You deal them out, first consonants and then vowels. Each person gets 4 consonants and two vowels. They have a sheet of paper and a pen. When you flip an egg timer and say go they look at the cards(letters) they have and write down as many words as they can using those letters before the egg timer runs out. You play best three out of five so people who get hard cards have a chance to do better with other cards.

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June 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Thanks for thinking of us blind folks when working on crosswords! I'm nearly totally blind, but have always loved word games. Here's my suggestion: Read the crossword clue aloud, give the number of letters in the answer, and if appropriate, recite blanks and filled-in letters. My younger daughter and I have solved a few crossword clues over the phone that way. If it's group participation, perhaps you could keep track of who solves the most clues and give a small prize.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 9, 2007

Anyone tried eye drops and/or nutritional supplements which improve the vision (cartaract/blurred vision)? How about Catalin eyedrop? How about Sharp Vision (by Irwin Nat'l)?

Many thanks!

Shanna Lu from Seattle, WA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
November 12, 20070 found this helpful

I have been taking Bilberry tablets for over a year now, don't think they improve my vision but my eyes are not so sore and watery like they use to be. Just take 1 a day.

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

i do not know much but i know that my Grandfather was told to use Ocuvite tablets

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

I like Similisan eye drops. They have drops for dry eyes, cataracts and pink eye. I know, for a fact, that the "pink eye" drops work! The "dry eye" drops are good, too. I'm using the "cataract" drops right now, but don't really know if they're helping any. You can find them at most drug stores, or K-Mart, Walmart, etc.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 12, 20070 found this helpful

Have you been to the eye dr? He should tell you for sure what to do, have you had the cataracts removed? Best thing that ever happened to me, I can see great without my glasses also. Please see you eye dr, the eyes are nothing to fool with. rose

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November 13, 20070 found this helpful

billberry was actually taken by WW2 fighter pilots for beter night vision. i take it and can actually tell that my night vision is improved.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 13, 20070 found this helpful

Ocuvite and Eyevite are two good brands of vitamins for the eyes. However, the people who I knew used them had poor vision from macular degeneration.

Eat carrots. Its true vitamin A is good for your eyes. (smile) Also, try any dark yellow fruit or veggie. I like apricots. Yum

Its best to check with your doctor.

Best wishes for good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 13, 20070 found this helpful

Use the Thriftyfun search feature. Type in non-surgical cataract removal. Click on first item, Nu Eyes Review, for discussion. I would love to find eyedrops that really work.

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August 19, 20150 found this helpful

I have cataracts in both eyes and I have the best luck using Bilberry jam. I also have the juice, but I do not notice the profound difference I do when I take the jam. I usually put 1T. of it on toast of just chow it down from a spoon and after a few days I notice I am seeing much more clearly. I've read that the English used to hold teas where their war pilots were served Bilberry on biscuits for their night vision. I was quite popular and quite effective.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 13, 2011

Which colour of dinner plate should I buy? My friend has very bad eyesight. Does anyone know which colour would show the food up best? I have used white plates, but that doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions folks!
Thanks.

By Tizzyfluff from Fife, Scotland

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 13, 20110 found this helpful

I don't know if plate color matters, but there is a specific way that food is supposed to be arranged on a plate for the blind. I can't remember what it is, but I am sure if you google it, you will find something on the topic.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

I think more important than the plate color is the contrast between placemat, plate, and food. Maybe a very dark placemat, white plate, and dark foods; or a white placemat, dark plate, and light colored foods.

The idea of food placement is an oldie but goodie, too, think of the plate like a clock, for example meat is between 12 and 3; veggies between 3 and 6; starch between 6 and 9; and relishes between 9 and 12.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

My great grand aunt has macular degeneration and her vision is almost gone. I use clear glass plates with placemats under them. I have lots of different colours of placemats and use whichever colour provides the highest contrast to the food I'm serving at each meal. Also follow the placement guides others have posted. The contrasting colours are to enable her to see IF there is food there, not which food is where.

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Anonymous
March 15, 20110 found this helpful

I am fairly sure that JustPlainJo will comment here but in case she doesn't go to the following link and at the end of her article click on 'JustPlainJo' and there will be a contact button. She's an awesome person to ask and I know she would be happy to give you some helpful advice :-) You might want to also read her many posts about assorted subjects regarding blind/legally blind.

http://www.thri  7410769.tip.html

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March 16, 20110 found this helpful

Aww, Deeli, you're so sweet! You're also completely correct. I love helping others who are dealing with vision loss, or just curious about what we blind folks are really like. For me personally, it doesn't matter what plate color is set before me. I don't have enough usable vision to see the contrast. Red is very visible to me, as are bright or intense colors. That would help in locating the actual plate or glass. However, what helps me most is any plate with a deep "lip." That is, if there's a raised outside edge on the plate, it tends to make it less likely the food will slide off as you eat.

The "clockface method" described here works very well for me. I was also taught to use a portion of a slice of bread to "help" any food onto the fork or spoon. However, I'm just as likely to use a finger! (I'm such a barbarian, lol!) If you're as I used to be and hate for one food to touch another, invest in a few dinner-size divided plates. Those also tend to have the raised edges I described, and food can be put into each section, meat in one, veggies in another, etc.

Last but not least, I encourage you to contact the National Federation of the Blind. They're online at http://www.nfb.org. Feel free to contact me through my TF profile if you need further help. I'm praying for you! JPJ

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October 9, 20160 found this helpful

There used to be plates that were half black and half white. Meat on white part and potatoes on dark part. Veggies where they contrast best. Wish i could find some now.

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October 9, 20160 found this helpful

There used to be plates that were half black and half white. Meat on white part and potatoes on dark part. Veggies where they contrast best. Wish i could find some now.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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