Accessibility

A yellow hand using a cloth to wipe across a surface and clean up a blue splattered spill.

Housekeeping and Cleaning Tips for the Visually Impaired

I unleashed my inner domestic goddess today. She doesn’t get out much. If you could see my house, you would know she and I don’t really keep company that much. There are so many, other, really interesting things to do than clean.

Being stuck at home, I decided to clean

How this happened is simple. Because we are having snow and sleet today, the transportation company canceled my ride home from the gym. I agreed. What was I supposed to say? No, my Zumba class is more important than your driver’s safety? That would probably be a bit crass.

Being home and pretty much snowed in meant I had to look at this place all day. Or, I could close my eyes or I could clean. I decided to clean. You might want to mark this on your calendar.

How the visually impaired clean

As I have been vacuuming, scrubbing the bathroom, and such, it dawned upon me I had no addresses anything about how the visually impaired clean. Eureka! An idea for a page!

Establishing a wiping pattern

Wikihow is a useful, little site, they suggest three things to make cleaning easier and more productive for the visually impaired. Wikihow suggests establishing a wiping pattern and taking care of spills immediately. They suggest you wipe down all food surfaces immediately.1

Again, Wikihow suggests you develop a wiping pattern and use it on every surface of your home. That way you can be more sure you covered the entire area.

Use a thin cloth

Wikihow also suggests you use a thin cloth to clean. That way you can feel if there is still anything on the surface. I am sure many of you resort to wiping a hand over things to be sure they are clean. I know I do.

Divide large areas into smaller ones

Finally, Wikihow suggests dividing large areas like the kitchen floor into smaller areas. Sweep and mop the area between the island and the appliances and then the area between the island and the table, for example.

Use static dusters

VisionAware makes pretty much the same suggestion plus a number of others in its Housecleaning Tips post. VisionAware suggests using static dusters to remove dirt rather than just move it from place to place.2

Moving the dust and dirt along with you

A similar idea for sweeping the floor is to sweep towards yourself and move the dirt along with you. That way you are not leaving piles of dirt behind you. A basic sweeping stroke should be the width of your shoulders.

Tips on preventing messes and spills

VisionAware also appears to be very interested in preventing messes before they occur. They talk about using a tray or a cookie sheet to cook on. The edge on the tray will keep spills from running onto the counter or the floor. The tray can then be rinsed and popped into the dishwasher. Another option suggested was cooking over the sink. With that method, most little spills can be washed down the drain.

The challenge of cleaning with a visual impairment

Like many other things, cleaning house with a visual impairment can be challenging. However, challenging does not mean impossible. With a little bit of patience and some tolerance for imperfection, there are ways for the visually impaired to clean their own homes.

More on this topic

And now I guess I should get back to work!

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