Activity ideas for the visually impaired
People with any dissed ability, can do virtually everything a person with no dissed abilities can. Its just experienced differently. I call it a dissed ability, because we focus so much on what they can't do, what they are missing out on. When somebody who has always had a certain ability only knows life that way. Their other senses grow and they can learn a whole new world of experiences. Let your imanigination go wild. Try to see the world through their perspective, then you will find things that interest them and they will enjoy.
People who have come in to vision impairment through illness, accident or genes, may have a more difficult time adjusting, and it will probably be even more important to understand how life is experienced differently with low sight or vision impairment.
In a brief stint working as a carer, I would let my clients decide what to do. It's only sad when they believe there is so little for them to do.
This is written for those of us who have friends, children or relatives who are vision impaired. I guess you will read because you want to support them, to continue to let them develop and grow as happy, healthy, whole rounded people.
Every person has their own interests, so I wouldn't suggest getting this list and ticking them off like a bucket list. Hopefully it opens up the world a little more to you understanding that there is so much more that is able to be done.
Make sure that you fully explain new situations if this will help lower any anxiety that is experienced.
Photography: In NCIS' "In the dark" Season 4 Episode 22, a blind photographer is featured who followed scents, then when the scent was strongest would take a photo, even though he couldn't see what they were he remembered the number of clicks he had taken and people loved his work. The NCIS crew saw the value in him helping solve their murder case.
Teaching: Teach others how to read braille. Teaching other skills that they have learnt, sharing their knowledge, sharing their experiences.
Playing Piano: once you know where middle C is you can identify with a mark on the it. Other senses grow stronger and hearing would be one of those. If you already have an interest in music and enjoy it. You may find that you can replicate what you are hearing.
Reading: Through Braille of course, and this can be just as enjoyable and I have seen how fast people can read braille, its amazing and their learning would be so much quicker.
Singing: Any one musically minded, and even if your not good at it, it sure is fun to try.
Enjoy a picnic: listening to serene surroundings, enjoying the scent of the food. When you really get down to it, do we enjoy all our experiences with more than just one sense? The picnic isn't only amazing because the sky was blue and the food looked amazing, but you didn't eat, touch it or smell it?
Swim - with supervision, in a not very populated pool as this would cause disorientation, confusion and distress.
Enjoy a walk through a deeply scented Forrest.
Write: or ask somebody else to write for them. To share their knowledge. A keyboard with braille which will allow them to type in braille and more advancements have been made in speech to writing which could help them tell their amazing stories.
Visit a wool museum: or any tactile or scent based museum that you touch, smell, or hear the things on displays.
Milk a cow - another tactile experience, quite different to any other.
Listen to music
Enjoy a cruise
Enjoy a movie - Whilst they may not be able to see the pictures, ask them about what they saw through the movie, never know they might have an inner director hiding away, also this could be a new way to appreciate a movie for you.
For more assistance and support with your special people, Vision Australia has some resources and more activity ideas.