10 Helpful Tips for the Vision Impaired

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, more than a half million Americans will be diagnosed with low vision this year alone. In the next 30 years, the incidence of low vision will more than double, leaving 2.3M Americans completely blind and nearly 10 million coping with low vision. If you or someone you know suffer from a permanent vision impairment, here are ten simple tips to make living with low vision more manageable.

1.Lighting: Increase the amount of lighting directly over the task that you are doing. Focus the light directly onto what you are doing. LED lights, natural light and natural daylight bulbs are recommended. Do not use fluorescent lights as fluorescent light causes glare.

2. Brushing teeth: Use colored or striped toothpaste as these are easier to see on the white bristles of a toothbrush. Or, simply squirt the toothpaste directly into your mouth and brush!

3. Money Identification: By feeling the edges of your coins you will notice that there are different edges on each coin. The dime and quarter have a rough or serrated type edge, and the penny and nickel have a smooth edge. For paper money, turn the paper bill so the back of the bill is facing you. You will notice that the number in the bottom right corner is the largest on the bill. This is true for the $5, $10, $20 & $50 bills.

4. Reading the numbers on your credit card: Place a piece of paper over the credit card and then take a pencil and color over the raised numbers of the credit card. Be sure to also color the expiration date. Then keep this in a safe place. When you need to give out your credit card number it will be easier to see.

5. Using a cell phone: Many cell phones today are voice activated and can be used by voice commands. Have someone help you program yours to use voice activation features.

6. Marking the dials on the stove: Use puff paint or tactile paint, available at fabric stores to mark key points on the dial. Or, liquid white-out can be used to mark black or dark colored stove dials.

7. Marking items in the cupboard/pantry: When unpacking groceries, label them with extra wide masking tape and black marking pen before putting the items in the cupboards.

8. Matching socks: Pin socks together before placing in the laundry. Use brass or stainless steel safety pins as they will not rust.

9. Pouring liquids into a cup: Pour coffee into a white mug, the contrasting color of the coffee and the mug will make it easier to see how filled the cup is. Or place index finger into the cup you will feel when the liquid touches your finger.

10. Writing made easier: Use a dark, bold point marker such as a 20/20 pen, or a bold tip gel pen (1.0 mm tip) and print. Do not write in cursive as it is harder to see and maintain a straight line.

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