Ankit Shah 5m 805
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
If someone with a visual impairment lives with you – or if you’re facing some level of blindness yourself – modifying your home makes it easier to navigate and safer to live in. Most modifications are simple, inexpensive changes that you can implement right away or over time, depending on your needs.
People with low vision can only read the first, second, or third line on the eye chart from 20 feet away. For those with severe vision loss, corrective lenses are not enough. There are challenges in viewing items on a website. To accommodate those with low vision, you’ll need to adjust font size and contrast.
People who have partial blindness or legal blindness can see light and shapes, but they may not be able to see the faces of people, objects, or letters. Total blindness, on the other hand, is a complete lack of sight. Approximately 15% of people with eye disorders fall under this category.
Getting your home ready for someone with a visual impairment is not an easy task. To ensure that you or your visually impaired housemate can get around and locate things easily, there are a number of things to consider. The following tips will help you cover all of the most important bases.
When you’re having your house renovated, it’s important to make modifications for people with total blindness. That includes taping the rugs, arranging furniture, and using tactile labeling. A person with total blindness can’t perceive light, color, or shape, so changes in these things won’t matter.
When it comes to light, make sure you have both natural and artificial light. Natural light should be coming in from the outside and artificial light should be coming from fixtures and lamps. So if you’re cooking, install some task lighting and point the lights directly at the area where you’re working. If you’re reading, use a lamp that has movable parts, like a floor lamp or table lamp, for flexibility.
For your best vision, choose 60- to 100-watt bulbs for lighting fixtures.
Keep your space well-lit by using as few shadows and dark spaces as possible.
Pick the perfect light bulb, from warm incandescent to cool fluorescent, depending on your preference.
Install blinds that can be adjusted throughout the day to let in more or less natural light.
Have flashlights readily available for times when you need a little extra light.
Paint the light switches of your home in a bright, contrasting color.
It’s important to maintain a flow of traffic throughout the house in order to prevent injury, resulting from running into furniture.
Position your furniture so the light won’t reflect off it and create glare.
Arrange your rooms so there’s easy access to furniture and wide pathways.
For natural illumination near a window, position a chair next to it and use textured furniture.
Label your items
One of the most effective ways to prevent having to label everything in your house is by being organized. Putting things back where they belong is the key to finding what you need quickly. Color-coding and tactile labeling also help visually impaired people find items around the house.
Use items like:
Jumbo paper clips.
Keep clutter out of the home to make it safer for the visually impaired. Clutter can obscure stairs, prevent people from seeing hot stovetops, and get in the way of functional living spaces.
The double-sided rug tape is a great way to secure the edges of your area rugs to the floor.
You can also increase visibility by using bright colors or contrasting colors.
Make sure to use non-skid cleaners and keep your floors dry at all times.
Push chairs in when you are done with them
Ensure that your electrical cords are not in any traffic routes
Braille labels and labelers are available for purchase at specialty retailers. It’s important to label toxic or hazardous items, prescription drugs, and other things that could be dangerous if they’re accidentally swapped out for the wrong thing.
Phone entry system
You can make your home accessible to the blind and visually impaired by installing a door entry system. Some systems actually allow you to open the door for someone who is knocking, without you needing to leave your seat.
Slippery floors and untidy carpets can be hazardous for people with total blindness. Approachable, non-slip flooring and carpeting will prevent slips and trips and create a more livable home. For hard surfaces, install non-skid rugs and tape the edges down with double-sided tape.
If you suffer from vision loss and it’s hard to see distance, reach out to a low vision specialist. We will put you in touch with a low vision clinic near you!