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Kent Association for the Blind

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Adapting to life when you are sight impaired is about learning new skills, making changes to your environment to accommodate your new circumstances, and making the most of any useful remaining vision you may have.

At home

If you have some useful remaining vision:

  • Ensure good levels of lighting throughout your home, especially where there are stairs or changes of surface or gradient.
  • Consider having bright coloured handrails installed on steps and stairs.
  • If you've got glass doors, consider fixing something large and bright to the glass so they can be seen.
  • Try putting bright coloured tape around light switches, door frames and on door handles to help you see them better; for example, a dark red light switch would contrast well with a white wall.
  • If you're thinking of re-decorating you'll need to consider the type and tone of paints and wallpaper. Gloss paints can cause glare so try to use matt finishes instead. It's easier to see walls, floors, ceilings and doors if they are painted in colours or tones that contrast from each other. For example, consider a bright coloured door set against a pale wall.
  • If you're wondering whether it would be a good idea to rearrange furniture in the house to make it easier to move around, it's actually often more helpful for you to leave things as they've always been. Find out what works best for you by discussing with your KAB Rehab Worker.

Indoor tips for low or no vision:

  • Doors should be always be fully open or closed; never leave a door ajar.
  • Be sure to close drawers, or cupboard doors, immediately after use to avoid injuring yourself.
  • Keep your floors clear of anything that you could trip over and make sure carpets are smoothed and mats can't slip.
  • Explain to friends and family that it helps you if things are put back in the particular place you have chosen for them.
  • If you have children or grandchildren, keep toys off the floor. It's a good idea to have a box for toys which is always kept in the same place so you can easily find it.
  • You might find it helpful to put a knob at the end of the banisters, to indicate the last stair of the staircase; a rubber mat placed at the foot of the stairs serves the same purpose.

KAB Rehab Workers can provide more assistance with the training, techniques and advice you'll need to be safe in your home.

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Young visually impaired boy holding up his artwork with the text 'Wall of thanks' underneath