How to Be Independent When Visually Impaired

Six Parts:Getting AroundCookingCleaningKeeping Track of TimeFinanceShopping

You can still live an independent life if you are visually impaired. Once you learn what you need to know and get into the swing of things, it will be like second nature to you.

Part 1
Getting Around

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    Research transportation. What are the public transportation options you have in your area? Some public transport options include:
    • Taxi services. Contact local taxi services to inquire about their rates and where the taxi covers.
    • Bus services. Contact local bus services to inquire about their rates, departure times, and locations.
    • Discounts may be offered for Visually Impaired people.
  2. 2
    Apply for a transportation service for disabled people.
  3. 3
    Consider purchasing a mobility cane. Contact an Orientation Mobility instructor to help you learn how to use a cane, and help you get used to walking some of your most taken routes alone. Some places may take some practice getting used to, but you'll get there in the end when you start getting used to the location.
  4. 4
    Consider owning a guide dog. If you're willing to take on the responsibility, invest in a guide dog. They can help you out and can also be a source of company if you are walking somewhere alone. This will require you to train with the dog, understanding the do's and don'ts of guide dogs, and how to look after them.

Part 2

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    Ask yourself if you can cook. Depending on how much sight you have, you may you may need someone supervising you while you cook.
  2. 2
    Allow people to help. If you are learning a new meal, get someone to help you the first time you do it, and then supervise you other times you cook this meal.

Part 3

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    Make a list of what you have to clean.
  2. 2
    Start at one end of the room. Work your way through the room, back and forth, until the area is clean.
    • You can go through the area again if you want to be extra sure it's clean.
    • You may have a daily living skills trainer at your local institute who may offer you help with cleaning.

Part 4
Keeping Track of Time

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    Invest in a talking clock. There are talking watches and clocks that have features such as alarm clocks, date/time, and timers. You can also find talking calculators that offer you the same features.
  2. 2
    Get in touch with your local blind institute. See if they provide equipment, and see what they have to offer.
  3. 3
    Listen to the radio. If you are a frequent radio listener, the hosts are very up to date on giving you the time, date and also useful facts such as weather and events in your area.
  4. 4
    Use a phone to find information. Listen for services which give everyday information, such as "Tell me".

Part 5

  1. 1
    Ask your bank about telephone or internet banking services. If you have limited sight, telephone banking may work best. With these services, you may be able to find out recent transactions, or transfer money to another account.
  2. 2
    Organize your wallet. Be sure you organize it in a way that you feel you will be able to find things easily.
    • Try organizing cards in order from most to least important, and put coins and notes in separate compartments.
    • Put receipts in a separate location if possible. Folding bills can help, especially if you develop your own system. Not only you'll have a structured way to review money, but this also helps sometimes against lies.

Part 6

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    Ask to be left at the customer service area. From there, you can ask for assistance or a guide.
  2. 2
    Bring a printed list of thing you wish to buy, with specific choices.
    • For example, the product, brand and type.
  3. 3
    Stay in touch with your guide. Ask your guide for prices and critical details about items that have been given to you.


  • Develop methods that will be conventional to your daily living. For example, you can plan things ahead of time by making a schedule (perhaps on an excel document) and then print it out for future reference.
  • If you're looking at getting discounts on transport, you may need to show identification that you are visually impaired. You may be able to get an ID from an organisation for the blind.
  • Use technology whenever you may think it would be the best option. There is a lot of information out there on the Internet at your disposition.
  • By all means, if you need help with something, never be afraid to ask, however, don't take advantage of people to do everything for you. The only way of becoming independent is to try not to rely on people all the time.
  • If you ask for help but are not being understood, the most obvious way to deal with it is to either look for different sources of help or word things differently.
  • Local blind institutes may provide transport discount vouchers for people with disabilities.
  • It's a good idea to start off cooking things that someone in the family has already prepared before, so they can show you what they've already learned.
  • You may like to invest in some equipment to aid you in cooking such as raised "stick on" dots to place on kitchen appliance settings, talking or tactile scales and stop watches, and long thick oven mitts to protect you while accessing the oven.

Article Info

Categories: Blind and Visually Impaired