The holiday season means gifts, gatherings, and memories to make. In addition to the fun, this time of year is often stressful and can be a particularly challenging time of year for the blind and visually impaired. Here are some tips that might ease the stress of the season for friends and family with visual impairment.
Give the visually impaired extra notice of holiday events so they can personally prepare. This could mean making advance travel plans or preparing for a new environment. When decorating for the holidays, do not rearrange major furniture or household items. Visually impaired individuals rely on their knowledge of a home’s layout in order to safely navigate rooms. For family dinners or holiday events, use contrasting colors in your place settings so people who are visually impaired can more easily differentiate between objects. This can also work for food, to more easily distinguish where items are on the plate. Use larger labels on gifts. Address labels can be printed in large font where TO and FROM are easier to read. You can also add puffy paint on the labels or directly on packages to add a tactile element to the gifts. If you have planned stops at airports, hotels or restaurants, call ahead to make sure you can get assistance if needed. You can also identify luggage with brightly colored stickers or tags to make them easier to find.