Home and Office Modifications for Persons with Visual Impairment
Adjust the lighting in your home
Lighting can make a big difference to a person who is visually impaired. Here are a few tips to improve lighting in your home.
- Use 60-100 watt light bulbs and be sure to change non-working light bulbs.
- Experiment with lighting by testing a variety of lighting types to determine which suit your needs best. There are many options available which include fluorescent, halogen and incandescent lighting.
- Consistent lighting in your passage makes it easier to identify curves and where the passageway ends.
- Natural lighting is usually the best type of lighting for a person with visual impairment. If possible, try to increase the natural light in a room as much as possible. It is best for natural light to pass from behind a person rather than from before them. This will assist to prevent a glare that may trigger eye strain.
By placing your furniture strategically, you can help avoid injury and make moving around easier. Consider the following:
- Couches and other seating furniture should be placed near natural lighting to make working and reading easier.
- Different textured furniture can assist in identifying what type of furniture the item is. Your single couch could have a grainy textured upholstery whereas the pillows could have a silky-smooth texture.
- Colour contrast by placing bright coloured furniture pieces near key items of furniture to assist in locating the item easily.
- Mirrors can cause a glare or reflecting light. Place these strategically to avoid this.
- Place seated furniture close together to create a more intimate setting. This will assist a person with visual impairment to accurately determine your position within the area when listening to your voice.
To prevent falls and injury within your home, here are a few ways in which you can make your environment safer:
- Install grab bars or safety railsin high-slip areas like your bathroom or on the stairs.
- Always keep your fire extinguisherand first aid kit in the same, easily accessible place.
- Reflection tape
- Mark emergency exits, steps and sharp edges with reflective yellow tape.
- Tripping hazards
- Keep chairs pushed in under a table. Do this ALL the time to avoid anyone from tripping or hurting themselves.
- Coffee tables and other tripping hazards should be left in the same position and if moved, this needs to be communicated.
- Avoid using rugs that have edges that don’t lie perfectly flat. If you are using a rug as such, tape down the edges.
- Tape down cords and keep them away from walkways.
- Do not wax floors as this makes floors slippery.
- If you spill a liquid or food on the floor, clean it up immediately and make sure that the floor is dry to avoid slipping.