Describe the place setting and food arrangement on the plate in terms of a clock face so the person can participate in meal time confidently.
Fold a five dollar bill one way and a ten dollar bill another to differentiate money.
Put rubber bands around cereal boxes to identify flavors.
Watch audio described movies.
Use clear, verbal descriptions when giving directions and offer a tour of the facility, including how to find restrooms, to newcomers. Point out landmarks they can use to get around easily.
Try big print check registers, calendars and address books.
When walking with a consumer with vision loss, offer your arm for the person to hold onto. Walk about 1/2 step ahead of the person so that you can avoid objects in the pathway. This assistance is called "sighted guide".
Ask for a large print or braille menu in a restaurant.
Take pre-made labels to the grocery store and place them on the items as you purchase them to help you when you are putting the groceries away.
Consider a white cane to more easily navigate in the community.
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There is so much paperwork in this world and so many deadlines to meet…financial aid forms, tax returns, health insurance. I’m a single parent and a working professional. My volunteer enables me to live as any other adult lives, without compromising my privacy, without revealing to friends and family the content of my bank account or how much is in my paycheck.
Since 1972 I have been teaching at the college level and pursuing my research interests. My volunteer makes it possible for me to read primary texts in the original Russian – the book we are working on may be my foremost contribution to the field. Yet she insists she gets as much from the experience as I do.
I have such a wonderful volunteer. She has helped me to do some stuff I haven’t been able to do in forever, like going to DSW and finding a comfortable pair of shoes, and picking out good greeting cards at CVS. I’m really thrilled.
You are helping those who are less fortunate. You’re bringing joy to hearts that could be filled with sorrow. You are fulfilling the various dreams of those who felt it was impossible to have dreams and believe. I know that from just my experience and my lifetime. Just having people that cared a little bit, that said to me even though you are blind you are blessed to be given that challenge to do far better than you could even imagine.
- Stevie Wonder
My volunteer came on primarily as a volunteer to read. Later she helped me do things like Christmas shopping for the family. As time went by the volunteerism developed into a friendship as well. She became involved in our lives in many other ways. We attended her three sons’ bar mitzvahs and weddings and she’s been with us for 38 years now.
I was so excited when I found out about large print playing cards and bingo cards. Now I can play bridge again! I’m also part of a knitting group, and I wear a magnifying glass around my neck so I can see the knitting needles. We’re making hats for our soldiers in the Middle East.
I have macular degeneration. When I first lost my vision it felt almost impossible for me to do things in my house. But slowly I learned to adapt. Nancy from MAB marked my microwave oven and remote control with raised dots so I can use them. She helped me sign up for talking books and The Ride for transportation. And I joined a support group. I’ve been part of it for so long that now I am the leader.
Qualifying for Boston was one of the highlights of my running career because it meant I got to run in one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. It was a dream come true, but my experience with Team With a Vision trumped the marathon.
Up until the early 90s my wife took care of our mail, paid the bills, and read my mail to me, but that became a trial and it wasn’t helpful to our relationship, so I took over the checkbook. I started paying the bills, and I got a volunteer to help me do it all."
As a first-time guide runner, it was really fun to be able to be a part of the community of Team With a Vision. I’ve run the Boston Marathon 6 times before, and saw it in a whole new light this time.