Helping Blind/VI people during the festive season

Today’s post is another instalment of my friend Holly and I’s Seeing through sight loss series. If you are not familiar with the concept of this series then you can read our introduction to it here.

The festive season is a fun, exciting and magical time of year but it can prove to be rather difficult for blind/VI people in some situations so Holly and I have decided to write a post which includes a few tips to inform you of how you can help Blind/VI people during the festivities.

I hope you enjoy today’s post and without further ado let’s begin.

1. Telling us who you are in social situations

Christmas is known as the party season right? Although I’m not a party animal myself, some blind/vi people love going out to Christmas and festive themed parties just like any sighted person would. Parties and gatherings are typically very loud environments therefore it’s not as easy to recognise voices. In my opinion it’s very useful for us blind/vi people if you let us know who you are before diving into the conversation, just so we know who exactly we’re talking to.

2. Labelling gifts in our desired format

Sometimes it’s hard for us to know who we’ve very luckily received presents from therefore a great way to solve this problem is by labelling the gifts in our desired format. That might be braille or large print. It is also possible to label them using RNIB’s penfriend which is a device I’ve talked about before here on my blog, it’s essentially a labelling device which allows you to record voice messages on small labels.

3. Describing gifts when we open them

If a person is blind it’s evident that they can’t see the gift after opening it so it’s always helpful to be provided with a description of the gift. I am severely sight impaired myself and don’t always recognise what the gift is after I’ve opened it and I’m constantly asking people what is in front of me. It’s not always pleasant opening a gift and not having that initial reaction a sighted person would have when they first see it and instantly know what they’ve received so if someone would describe the gift once we’ve opened it, it would make the situation easier.

4. Don’t leave presents/gifts all over the floor

Some people are very lucky and receive plenty of gifts at Christmas, those gifts tend to be placed everywhere on Christmas day and they can be a hazard for blind/vi people who might not know that they’re there. I’ve had mishaps in the past which resulted in me tripping over a gift (this has happened more than once and there is no doubt that it will probably happen again). Just a cautious message to remind you to keep your gifts to one side in order to prevent any accidents.

5. Donating to sight loss charities

There are plenty of fundraising collections for sight loss charities all over the country during the festive season and all the money goes towards providing vital services and supporting blind and partially sighted people. I am in no way saying that you have to donate, I am just letting you know that the option is there. I am fully aware that not everyone is in a position where they are able to make donations but if you are and are interested in donating to a sight loss charity then there are plenty to choose from.

That concludes my post for today, don’t forget to go and read Holly’s post as she is going to be talking you through 5 other ways of how to help blind/vi people during the festive season.

Do let me know if you are a fellow visually impaired person and what would help you this Christmas?  Also do let me know if you are a sighted person reading this and what did you think of this post, will you keep these points in mind? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you all so much for reading today’s post. I hope you have a lovely day/evening.

Elin x


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