Household Items For Visually Impaired and Tips To Make The Home Safe

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Making changes to your house makes it safer and simpler to live in if you or a family member has a vision impairment or if you are already partially blind. The majority of improvements are straightforward, affordable adjustments that you may make immediately or gradually, depending on your circumstances. 

Depending on how you live and the severity of the disability, you may need to alter your house. With the aid of these suggestions, you can make sure that you or your housemate who is blind can navigate the house and find items with ease.

Making your home safe for those with Low Vision 

To make your house safer and simpler to traverse, implement these adjustments in each space. 

Increase the Lighting 

Increase the amount of light in the area, both natural and artificial. Install task lighting in areas where reading and cooking are the most critical tasks, and direct the light at the task rather than the eyes. For versatility, use mobile clip-on lighting, table lamps, or floor lamps. 

  • For light fixtures, go with 60–100 watt bulbs. 
  • To minimize shadows and dark areas, use homogeneous illumination. 
  • Try out several lights, from warm incandescent to cooler fluorescent, to see which is best for your eyes. 
  • Install movable shades so you can allow natural light to enter your home during the day. 
  • Throughout the home, place flashlights in strategic locations for when you need a bit more focused light. 
  • Light switches should be painted in a vivid, contrasting hue. 

Position the Furniture 

Running into furniture can lead to bumps and bruises, so making the house flow smoothly will help avoid this. 

  • Mirrors should be positioned to avoid reflecting strong lighting. 
  • Make sure your furniture is arranged such that your rooms have broad walkways. 
  • For reading or crocheting in natural light, place a chair near a window. 
  • To make it simple to locate by touch, use furniture with upholstery that has a variety of textures. 

Label and color-code household items. 

Everything in the house doesn’t necessarily need to be labeled if the home is organized well. When you’re finished using anything, always put it back where it belongs so you can locate it quickly. Residents who are visually challenged may easily locate certain things around the house thanks to color coding and tactile labeling. 

Use these helpful objects for tactile labeling and color-coding:

  • extra-large colorful paper clips 
  • oversized safety pins 
  • Use a strong, black marker to write on the large fluorescent index cards. 
  • colored duct tape, masking tape, or electrical tape 
  • textile paint 
  • gems with an adhesive back 
  • foam forms with an adhesive backing 
  • Colored pipe cleaners 
  • elastic bands 

Remove any safety risks 

People with vision loss are safer when there is less general clutter and basic safety risks removed from the home. 

  • Your area rug’s edges can be taped to the floor with double-sided rug tape. 
  • Use bright colors, exit lights, or contrasting hues to make the home’s exits more visible. 
  • Keep your floors dry at all times and clean them using non-skid cleansers rather than waxes that could be slippery. 
  • When you’re finished at a seating area make it a practice to push in all the chairs. 
  • Electrical cords should be kept out of the way of traffic and secured behind equipment. 
  • Install grab bars in the showers and tub and a hand railing on the stairs. 

The stairs in the home should be well-lit, and the edges of each step should be painted or taped with reflective materials so they are extremely visible. Any further floor level adjustments should be marked with a bright, reflecting color. 

Two times a year, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and create and rehearse an evacuation plan so your roommate who is blind can easily navigate out in an emergency.

Low Vision Kitchen Modifications 

Make the kitchen simple for the person who has low vision to use and navigate. Clear the counters of all items and get rid of any obstructions. 

Replace a glossy, slick surface with rubber tiles, commercial low-pile carpet, or some other non-slip substance. 

  • To make items easier to find, paint the cabinet doors in vivid, contrasting colors. 
  • To help you recognize canned items and utilize the stove settings, keep a handheld magnifier in a convenient location in the kitchen. 
  • Whatever you’re cutting, use a cutting board with a dark side and a light side for contrast. 
  • For efficient task illumination, provide bright lighting beneath the countertops. 
  • Put a tactile sticker on the oven and burner controls that are in the “medium” setting. 
  • Get sheathed blades to avoid cuts when reaching for them. 

Cooking Utensils

Simple things like multi-colored measuring spoons and cups or large print on them with contrasting colors.  For the totally blind they also come with Braille on them.

  • When cutting food wear cut-resistant gloves, use finger guards, and use tools like tomato cutting guides.
  • Flexible bowl liners that seal any bowl’s shape or size 
  • Cool-touch rack protectors for ovens 

Braille Salt and Pepper Shakers 

Set of salt and pepper shakers made of glass with braille and big text labels. Without needing to pre-test the contents of shakers, exact condiment selection is made possible by the braille and tactile markings below the ridge. has distinct black sleeves for the pepper shakers and white sleeves for the salt shakers.

Plate Guards

To stop food from being pushed off the plate, there is a clear polycarbonate plate guard with an interior V groove that is attached to the edge of the plate. Small and big sizes are offered, respectively, to suit plates with a diameter of 6 to 8 and 8 to 9 inches. Up to 125 degrees in the dishwasher safe.

Egg Separator

Egg separator that divides egg yolks from whites and keeps egg shells from getting into batters and recipes. Fits on the side of almost any bowl. Dishwasher top rack safe.

Bathroom Alterations

Sturdy bath or shower rails and non-slip adhesive strips on the bathtub or shower floor should always be included in bathroom renovations for those with visual impairments.   To avoid unintentional scorching, set the water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below. 

  • To brighten the bathroom, increase the wattage of the light bulbs. 
  • Towels should be brightly colored so they stand out against the wall and are simple to find. 
  • To stop the mirrors from reflecting light, adjust them. 
  • Retouch high-gloss walls with anti-glare eggshell paint. 
  • Install powerful nightlights in every bathroom. 
  • To add contrast, swap out the white toilet seat for a colorful one. 
  • To distinguish it from the conditioner bottle, keep a rubber band around the shampoo container. 
  • To keep soap available in the bath or shower and stop it from dropping to the shower floor, use a “soap on a rope.” 
  • To make it simpler to identify toothbrushes, prescription drugs, and other personal goods, use tactile stickers or rubber bands.

Make Adjustments For Cleaning And Laundry

If you don’t make certain adjustments, even simple tasks like doing the laundry may take longer than they should. There are several things you may do to simplify your life: 

  • Put tactile stickers on the washer’s and dryer’s dials and frequently used settings. If you live with others in a shared home, you can use clear stickers to ensure that everyone can see the dials. 
  • Before storing them, secure your socks with sock locks, and instruct your relatives to do the same. 
  • Always place knives and forks pointed down while loading the dishwasher, and load it from the rear to the front. 
  • Put safety pins in identically colored clothing, or identify items with the color’s letter on the tag. 
  • To organize various types of clothing, place dividers in drawers and closets. 
  • To ensure that you always know what cleaning agent you are using, label all cleaning items with braille or felt letters.

Improved Use of Technology And Communication

Being able to operate and utilize technology regularly is important for creating a sense of home in your living area. You may more easily keep in contact with the world and your loved ones by following this advice: 

  • Make sure the keypads or dials on your phones have large print. 
  • On white paper, write using felt-tip markers or 20/20 high-contrast pens. 
  • To enhance your watching experience, invest in a big-screen, high-definition television. 
  • Turn on speech synthesis in your computer’s settings to read an on-screen text and transmit screen contents. 
  • Ensure that any emergency contact information is written down completely and legibly or entered into your phone.

Purchase Talking Low Vision Devices

People who are blind or have other visual impairments can live much more easily thanks to a variety of talking gadgets. It is simpler to get dressed while using a talking color identifier, which can identify about 100 different colors. You may record your voice using a voice labeling method on unique cards that can be fastened to products like clothing, medicine, and canned goods. The label will announce the item when it comes into contact with the recording/playback device. 

For the blind and those with limited eyesight, other talking devices include: 

  • Scales. 
  • Calculators. 
  • Glucose and blood pressure monitors. 
  • Cooking, outdoor, and fever thermometers. 
  • Watches and clocks. 
  • Tape Measures 
  • Thermostat. 
  • Talking barcode scanner for identifying objects.

Thanks to a wide range of low-vision home appliances that make daily tasks easier, there is almost nothing someone with reduced vision or absolute blindness cannot do in the modern world. 

  • Braille phones with large buttons 
  • Electronic devices with tactile controls 
  • Boiler notification that lets you know when the water is boiling 
  • Braille or large-print keyboards
  • Screen reader software or apps Like EZ Reader to make icons and cursors etc. larger.

Costs of Modification and Funding 

Even though many home adaptations for the blind are on the more affordable end of the scale, making these alterations can be intimidating. It should be your main goal to make your house cozy, accessible, and safe, and there are many organizations available to assist you. 

General Home Modification Costs 

The average cost of remodeling a home to accommodate a disability is between $1,200 and $9,000 according to HomeAdvisor. Despite the fact that prices will differ substantially based on the alterations you need, there are several broad pricing ranges accessible. 

  • On average, each individual spends $120 a year on devices including glasses, sticks, computer software, and medical equipment for rehabilitation. 
  • Nearly $2,000 might be spent on healthcare, housekeeping, personal care, travel, and social events per year. 
  • Braille labels, tactile markers, and other tactile aids can be purchased for as little as $3 per page. Depending on how many and what kind of material you choose, tactile floor tiles and surface indicators may become a little more expensive.

Support for Adaptations 

You can get in touch with your local social services department to identify a social worker who can help pay for your home upgrades if you just developed a vision impairment or are moving into a new living arrangement that will require accommodations. 

It’s possible that you’ll have to pay for the upgrades out of your own pocket if you are a homeowner with funds. There are methods to assist you to pay part (or all) of the expenses if you are unable to, though. 

We’ve included some of the more well-known grants for accommodating disabilities in the home from HomeAdvisor below, but there are many more. 

Veterans Affairs home loans and grants: If you are a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs may be able to provide you with a special housing adaption (SHA) award. This would provide you with funding to modify a home you own or reside in to suit your needs. 

Housing Repair Loans and Grants from the USDA: Low-income adults 62 years of age and older who meet the requirements may be eligible for loans up to $20,000 and grants up to $7,500. 

Grant for Self-Sufficiency from This award is intended for those who don’t meet the criteria for low income but still need help. They provide people just above the poverty level with adaptive home modifications. 

The NCSHA, the National Council of State Housing Agencies Through the NCSHA, individuals and families may access a variety of supports, including loans, grants, and assistance in finding useful groups in their neighborhood.

You might want to have a look at some of the resources mentioned above if your house renovations will be significant. Fortunately, many of the changes suggested in this article can be done for not much money. 

Before starting any house improvements, we advise consulting with your (OT) occupational therapist for their recommendations. 

The purpose of house modifications for visual impairments is to improve your home and make it simpler for you to perform the everyday duties you need to perform. We really hope that some of our suggestions were beneficial to you and had a good impact on your life.

About the Author:
Dr. Shaun Larsen

Dr. Shaun Larsen

Dr. Shaun Larsen is an optometrist who specializes in low vision services and enhancing vision with contact lenses. He has a passion for making people's lives better by helping them see well enough to read, write, or drive again. He always keeps up with the latest technology so he can help people regain their independence.


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