SMART Tips to Aid the Impaired

Being visually impaired or blind doesn’t mean that you’ll be losing the independence of getting to places on your own. Several methods and techniques help blind people get around with utmost safety, irrespective of their vision.

Visually impaired people are aware of the layout and tend to memorize things in a familiar environment. However, learning to travel in unfamiliar or different places requires the practice of orientation and mobility skills.

Mastering skills can help people get to and from diverse places. Studies show people with impaired eyesight employ other senses like touch, sound, and smell for being aware of their surroundings.

Thus, disabled people say that they can make out by walking beside a school if the sound of children laughing and playing is audible. Likewise, the smell of freshly baked brownies lets them know that a bakery is nearby.

Memory also plays a pivotal role when you’re traveling as a person without vision. It is vital to memorize locations, street names, etc. In contrast to the common belief, impaired people don’t count steps. Instead, they have a low vision, and they use their other senses in addition to their limited vision for getting around. 

Mobility consists of traveling physically from one place to the other, including walking, getting a ride from friends and family, or even taking public transportation. Or, there are many techniques with which the impaired can read through a book or use a computer. Some devices that help a blind gain visual independence are:

Reading Devices:

A sighted person can never imagine how difficult it is to be blind and use computers with this disability. Processing text is impossible, especially when there’s no additional software to provide help.

However, with a range of devices to help blind read, they can get visual independence and make reading easier. Also, these tend to provide them with a sense of freedom, enjoyment and strive to build a more productive experience for the impaired users.

A White Cane:

This cane assists the blind or severely visually impaired to know if there are obstacles if any. Yes, these devices save the blind from tripping hazards like poles, cracks, etc.

Blind often sweep the cane from one side to the other so that one can know if they have a path clear of obstacles. These also allow the blind to see if they’ve reached the room entrance or a crosswalk. White cane also provides drivers with signals that a pedestrian who’s about to cross the street is visually impaired.

Guide Dogs:

These service animals receive unique and extensive training for guiding the blind as well as the impaired. The dogs show their handlers around hurdles and help find things like elevators, escalators, and entrances.

The handler tends to instruct the dog about the places to visit. And, these trained animals lead the person and assist him in reaching the desired destination with utmost safety.

The Bottom Line

The methods mentioned above are highly effective. While there’s no one-fits-all method for people, owing to their diverse needs, lifestyles, and preferences. Some other accessibility features are audible announcements, which greatly help impaired people.

While not everyone may need this assistance, it is always good to explore your chances. What other techniques and methods help the blind get around? Leave your suggestions in the comments section!

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