Gift Ideas for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Over the years, the VisionAware peer advisors and contributors have come up with an awesome list of gift suggestions for your loved ones who are blind or visually impaired. Use their gift ideas to make your shopping a little easier.
Want to purchase a gift for someone on your shopping list who is blind or visually impaired? There are lots of things to choose from, some of which are specially adapted for people with vision loss, including simple gifts such as large print or braille games or cards that the two of you can play together. Sometimes the togetherness is the most important part!
Adapted Product Gift Ideas and Solutions
Gifts for Those Who Love to Cook
- Large print measuring cups and spoons are very useful for cooks with low vision. Here are some ideas about measuring that you can share with your loved ones.
- Peer Advisor Jeannie loves her Instant Pot.
- Peer Advisor DeAnna recommends a kitchen timer with large print or braille.
- Read “Accessible Kitchen Aids for Successful Holiday Cooking with Vision Loss” for more gift ideas for those who enjoy cooking and baking, and use these tips for making holiday cookies.
Gifts for Those Who Enjoy Reading
- Former Peer Advisor Lynley recommends LED lamps for reading. LEDs offer bright illumination, use less electricity, and don’t heat up (good to keep from burning oneself). She says, “get a model that can be used next to an easy chair!” For more on LED lighting, check out this video on LEDs.
- Peer Advisor Beckie suggests an electronic digital magnifier or a good audiobook.
- Peer Advisor Lynda Lambert suggests books on blindness from the Peers’ Bookshelf Series.
Gifts for Those Who Love Arts and Crafts
- Peer Advisor Audrey suggests an adjustable task lamp for crafters. She also recommends other practical items such as boxes, baskets, or organizational containers to store craft supplies. You can even share these labeling tips to help your loved ones get started.
- Read “Setting Up a Craft Area: Some Ideas to Try If You Are Blind or Have Low Vision” for even more ideas.
Gifts for the Tech Enthusiast
- Peer Advisor Max Ivey suggests the DOT Watch. According to the company, it is the first braille and tactile Bluetooth Smartwatch available. The Dot Watch is a wearable device that connects to your mobile device.
- The iPod Touch is a great way to get into Apple’s world of accessibility for $199 or less for the base 32 GB model. The iPod Touch has all the features of the iPhone except that you can’t make a cellular phone call. Of course, when connected to WiFi, calls can be made with the Facetime app or other apps like Skype.
- The Kindle Fire HD is an accessible and affordable tablet your loved one could really enjoy. Read a review of the product from visually impaired users.
- Amazon has solar chargers that range from $25 to $65 and work with iPhone, iPad, Android, and Samsung devices. Peer advisor Trina said her husband liked the Ruipu charger the best. This high capacity battery can be charged in multiple ways—by sunlight, USB cable from a computer, any indoor bright lamp, or through a wall adapter. This device is slightly larger than an iPhone, and it stores enough energy to charge a smartphone seven times or a tablet four times before needing to recharge. You can find this product and similar devices on Amazon.
- A large display or talking calculator, large print address book, or other types of office products are practical gifts.
- Is a friend or family member having trouble telling colors apart? Try the Rainbow Color Reader, a Talking Color Identifier.
- Consider purchasing a Pen Friend for recording instructions, notes, and labels. Audio labels can be used for anything, including managing medications! And speaking of medications, be sure to check out VisionAware’s feature on devices that can be used to identify medications for other practical suggestions.
- Peer Advisor Audrey also suggests you get your someone special their very own digital assistant, the Amazon Echo. Audrey uses the voice command feature to ask for the time, weather, and news headlines. You can also play games, set alarms and timers, and play music on the Amazon Echo.
- Read Steve Kelley’s post on smart speakers such as Echo and Google Home to decide which device is the best for your loved one with vision loss.
More Helpful Gifts
Gifts for the Board Game Player
- Try high contrast Scrabble letters or an accessible board game kit. You can also order large print playing cards. Read how Peer Advisor Mary used accessible board game pieces to spend time with her family.
Gifts for Older Relatives
- Give the gift of time with homemade coupons for assisting a loved one with transportation, paperwork, home chores or repairs, or safety modifications to reduce fall risks. This is a great gift from the grandkids!
Gifts for the Person Who Has It All
- For the person who has it all, how about a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, or a donation to a favorite charity.
- Gift cards for transportation alternatives would be helpful for individuals with vision loss as well. GoGoGrandparent is an affordable option for seniors. This service offers pickups within 15 minutes, sends text alerts to families, and has 24/7 service and support. Give the gift of mobility by purchasing a GoGoGrandparent gift card. The recipient of your GoGo gift card will be able to get a ride with a quick phone call—no apps, no worries.
- Peer advisor DeAnna recommends hiring a cleaning service to help your loved one with dusting, vacuuming, and other household chores. Last year, DeAnna’s daughters gifted her a year of Merry Maid services to help her with spots she might miss during her regular cleaning. DeAnna reported that two energetic young women would come into her home once a month for a few hours to lend a hand.
- Here are some ideas for homemade gifts.
Small Useful Gifts
- Wilson Recorder: $45
- Bold Line Notepad: $3
- No-Slip Signature Guide: $5
- EZC Playing Cards: $5.95
- Big Larry Light: $27.95
- Lightweight Travel Task Light: $35
- Loud Boost Clock: $19
- Talking Keychain: $12
The VisionAware “Getting Started” Kit
People with vision problems can face the future with confidence when they have access to the right information.
The VisionAware™ Getting Started kit provides hope and help to people experiencing vision loss by assisting them in handling challenges caused by visual impairments.