Matching clothes


As we live in a sighted world, appearances and fashion counts. Being blind or visually impaired doesn’t mean you wear unmatched clothes or weird colors that can’t go together. Lack of eye sight should not prevent you from applying new techniques to achieve this purpose. I often get compliments about how I dress well and match my clothes nicely.
In order to match your clothes, you should be familiar with the basics of matching colors. Even if you can’t see completely, you should know which goes with which. It is always good idea to match bright with dark colors. For example, it is so common to match brown with beige, or blue with aqua. Black color goes with everything. You can wear jeans with all colors too.
In developed countries, agencies and centers for the blind provide systematic instructional programs aiming at teaching the blind how to label and match their clothes.
On the contrary, in developing countries, people with visual impairment rely mostly on intuitions and bits of information they acquire from dedicated sighted people around them. So how do blind people match their clothes?

Some blind people use – devices to detect and identify colors.
These devices range in features and costs.
You can find a review of some of these devices at
www.afb.org
I am not sure how accurate those colors identifiers are especially when you have different colors in one piece of clothes.
In addition to this, other blind people use low-cost or no-cost methods to differentiate their clothes.
Some visually impaired differentiate their clothes by style or texture; however, others use color labels and they attach them to their clothes, they are usually removable and they are not affected by the washing-machines.
Some people like to use safety pins to label and identify things like their socks to avoid confusing them. Beads are sometimes used for clothes identification, for instance, every clothes that have two beads match in colors.
Those are some common techniques used for clothes matching and color identification, you can come up with your technique too as blind people are usually creative when it comes to their ways of adaptation.

The kitchen: no, so scary!

Dealing with the kitchen is not as challenging or dangerous as it seems to be for some people. I feel very sad when I know that a blind person is scared to use the stove to cook, or to use the knife to make some salad. For me, this is not acceptable and unjustifiable especially if we need to be independent and live our lives as anybody else does. Don’t take me wrong thinking that this post is for females, it is not the intention at all. Every single blind person should be acquainted with the kitchen, at least he / she should be familiar with the basics.
Some blind individuals are scared to use the stove, they think it is dangerous. It may be dangerous if you are not careful enough and you are not sure about your safety, however, if you take it step by step, you will be fine.

How can you overcome this scary feeling?
First, you should know that nobody will serve you, if you have somebody now to do the job for you, that person may not be available at a certain time. Some of them say to me, no problem we can deliver. Aha, you can do this if you really have enough money for 3 meals a day, 90 meals a month, 1080 meal per year. This is in case you don’t have any dependent that needs to eat too. I think it is crazy to deliver all the time like this.
You also sometimes want to eat something that is not being delivered in your area, or if you live overseas and you miss your home food.
In addition, other people already do it and they are still a live; so why not you!
Many blind individuals cook very well. They also can give you nice techniques about handling different issues of cooking, or organizing their kitchen.
I still think that this is the responsibility of the family to teach their blind children to deal with the kitchen. Even if your child is blind, he / she shouldn’t be pampered and become lazy and dependent!

Talking devices

Independence is the dream of any person with a visual impairment. We all want to feel the joy of being able to control our lives with the least assistance possible. It is amazing how technology served to achieve this purpose. So what are talking devices?

Talking devices are small adaptive technological devices that help blind and visually impaired in their daily life activities. Those devices are mostly normal devices like thermometers, blood pressure monitors, clocks, watches, scales, and many others; however they are adapted to the usage of blind users by installing talking software with them.

The talking devices added a great deal to the independence of all users with visual impairments in various fields of life. For instance, talking thermometers and blood pressure monitors decreased the health risks that anyone with visual impairment would face if they don’t use those devices. They also enabled blind users to take care of other family members independently.
I know a friend of mine who is blind single mother who has child girl; she used the talking thermometer almost every day when her daughter was a baby to monitor her temperature.

Moreover, talking clocks, watches, and timers helped blind and visually impaired to measure the time accurately and independently. A talking timer for instance is very helpful in cooking. It can be set to ring after any number of minutes; it is also equipped with a clock and an alarm…

It comes with a magnetic stick to be attached to the fridge for easy usage.

Talking kitchen and bathroom scales is another technological gadget that is very helpful for blind users. It enables them to measure luggage or food accurately and independently. However one of the set-backs of these technological devices is that they are expensive for anyone who doesn’t live in developed countries. The difference in currency and exchange rates make it difficult for blind users in developing countries to purchase such items. Moreover, because the blind community is not that large, and these goods are subject to the law of the market, demand is not high so the prices are also high.
I think the solution to this problem is either the developing countries have to attempt to find ways to locally manufacture those items, or these items may be purchased by associations to help blind and visually impaired use them for the sake of their safety and efficiency.

Organizing your refrigerator

You are just back from the store carrying plastic bags or a big heavy pack bag full of all different kinds of food and beverages. You want to place each item safely in its place in the refrigerator. At the same time, you need each item to be accessible and reachable for usage to make this delicious meal of yours. You also got some fresh or frozen items to be left in the freezer; things that most probably will lose their shape after some time inside it.

Hmmm! this means that we need more organization for our stuff in the refrigerator. Below some techniques that could be helpful although you may need to adjust them according to the space available to you.
• Use a consistent system in organizing the frozen items in the freezer. For example, if you can use 2 shelves, place the vegetables and bread in one shelf, and put the different kinds of meat in another shelf.
• If you have a limited space in the freezer, you still need to organize your stuff in a systematic way. For example, place the red meat, then chickens, then fish then vegetables or vice versa. You should try to find a logical order that is relevant to you to be able to remember it later.
• It is safer if you try to put the glass jars or bottles in the drawer of the refrigerator but in case that the design doesn’t help in that, you should make sure that the glass jars are not at the very front on the shelves. This may lead to breaking them if you try to get something forgetting that you have glass jars in front of you.
• Don’t ever keep anything open in the refrigerator; you should always make sure that containers are well-covered to avoid spilling stuff.
• Most probably you will be able to differentiate the containers according to their shapes, you may need to label them in Braille or draw a clear visible mark if you are visually impaired to recognize them quickly. If you don’t have a Braille labeler, at least you can put a sticker on the similar bottles to differentiate them. For example, you have similar juice bottles one for mango and the other for orange, in this case, put a sticker on one of them to differentiate it from the other one.
• As mentioned before, you still need to organize your refrigerator in a logical order to be able to locate your stuff. For example, you may categorize food into fruits, vegetables, dairy, beverages etc to be easy to remember
• Ask your partner in case he or she uses the refrigerator to put everything back in the exact location to avoid missing up the order.
Those are some basic helpful techniques that can make your life much easier and more independent and efficient in using your refrigerator. Please share yours with us so that we can exchange those useful techniques for an easier life.