A Practical List of Resources for VIPs

Recently there was a comment on one of my pages. The reader asked for practical rather than theoretical ways of adapting to vision loss. Progressive vision loss seemed to be specifically implied. Thank you for the question and another idea for a page!

Navigation and guides

I am somewhere around 150 pages written for Health Union. (Maybe. At 67, I should probably know how to count that high, but I do get confused!) Many of those pages have actually been written about practical adaptation strategies. I know others have written about them as well.

To recap, and also probably drive our editors crazy finding the citations, sorry ladies, we have covered:

We have talked about the importance of wearing sunglasses not only for slowing down the progression of the disease, but also to reduce problems with dark adaptation. We have talked about where to get a free, white cane.

Gadgets and technology

We as a group have written pages on different gadgets to help us adapt and stay functional. For example, on the topic of television viewing, we have written about MaxTV glasses and audio description technology. I think I have mentioned getting TV shows on my iPad so I can sit with it hanging off the end of my nose and not get in the way of other viewers.

Reading

Reading? Sure enough! We have talked about audiobooks for the blind and physically handicapped and how to get the BARD app. I have covered getting pdf forms of textbooks from the publishers and putting them into a text-to-speech app to be read. I have also covered the KNFB reader that can read a page of text after you take a picture of it.

Oh, and by the way, those text-to-speech readers will read anything that is in pdf form. That includes everything from Scientific American to your email. The process is pretty easy on my iPad.

Volunteers to help you stay informed

If you want more of a personal touch, we have talked about having a BeMyEyes volunteer help you read recipes and instructions. I believe we have also said it is okay to ask for help. Strangers in grocery stores and spouses can come in handy!

Magnification

And so far I have yet to include the pages we have all written on magnification. From handheld lenses to ZoomText, there are Health Union pages covering them.

Daily activities

While I am pretty sure my editor is cursing me for all these citations right now, I should probably mention pages on cleaning and cooking with a vision impairment. And MaxiAids! While I am sure there are other sources for adaptive household items out there, it would appear to me that this one is dang good.

Learning and adapting new strategies with deteriorating vision

So, yes, there are absolutely TONS of adaptive strategies and aids to get us through this tough time in our lives. Many of them have been covered in the pages of Health Union. Hopefully, this page will be a good guide to all of the great ideas that are available here. As my vision has deteriorated, I have just depended upon them to a greater and greater degree.

The psychologist in me...

But, let me revert to my professional identity for a few seconds. After all, I is a psychologist; i is! I stand by the theoretical things I have written before.

Without acceptance and the desire to get things done and goals met, even in new ways, these practical things will be soundly rejected. The ability to adapt comes from acceptance.

Gotta go! I think my editors are ready to kill me about now. 🥺

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