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Daily Living Activities for a Blind Person

Transportation

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2015 | By Kay Ireland

Transportation and getting around can be a serious challenge in the life of a blind
individual. Whether your charge uses a cane, a seeing-eye dog or other sight tools,
using public transportation and going for a simple walk can become a chore. Taking
frequent and simple trips around the community can help your blind charge feel
more comfortable with getting around town, notes the American Foundation for the
Blind. Try and let him lead the way as often as possible, correcting only if his safety
is in danger. This will give him confidence and the ability to travel without an aide.

Overview
For the 314 million visually impaired individuals and the 45 million blind
individuals in the world, as estimated by the World Health Organization, daily tasks
that seeing people take for granted can become difficult challenges. From getting
dressed in the morning to cooking breakfast, a blind person must organize his life
meticulously to live independently. If you're working with a blind person, helping
him with his daily living activities can give him more confidence in living
independently and organizing his life.

Dressing and Personal Care


When you care for a blind person, one of the basic skills you'll need to teach is
grooming, dressing and personal care. A blind individual will likely want to take care
of showering, shaving and other grooming in private, so positioning the right tools in
the same places every day can help your charge reach for the right ones. Organize
her closet together, and look for clothes that go on easily, suggests Nita Walker of the
Priestley Smith School, writing for the Royal National Institute of Blind People. If
necessary, lay clothes out the night before so your blind charge can get dressed on his
own.

Cooking and Organization


The kitchen can seem like an intimidating place for the blind, which is why safety is
of the utmost importance when caring for a blind individual. Choosing tools and
utensils with large, soft grips can make a blind person more comfortable with cutting
and feeding. An effort to organize the kitchen so that items are always in the same
place can help with finding certain items in the kitchen. Doing the prep work can
also help your charge be independent. Leave chopped fruits and vegetables in the
fridge with Braille labels or raised pictures representing the food inside on the lids of
the containers, suggests the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative
Services.

Communication and Technology


As a blind person becomes more proficient in dealing with her condition, it's a good
time to introduce communication and technology into her life. Computer programs
for the blind use voice and sound to read out web pages, while Braille keyboards
make it easy to keep in touch via email. Classes and workshops exist to help the
blind learn how to comfortably weave technology into their lives. This also allows
for important opportunities to interact with people in society, both blind and seeing,
to maintain a healthy social life.

BlindnessConcepts and
Misconceptions
by Kenneth Jernigan

When an individual becomes blind, he faces two major problems: First, he must
learn the skills and techniques which will enable him to carry on as a normal,
productive citizen in the community; and second, he must become aware of and learn
to cope with public attitudes and misconceptions about blindnessattitudes and
misconceptions which go to the very roots of our culture and permeate every aspect
of social behavior and thinking.
The first of these problems is far easier to solve than the second. For it is no longer
theory but established fact that, with proper training and opportunity, the average
blind person can do the average job in the average place of businessand do it as
well as his sighted neighbor. The blind can function as scientists, farmers,
electricians, factory workers, and skilled technicians. They can perform as
housewives, lawyers, teachers, or laborers. The skills of independent mobility,
communication, and the activities of daily living are known, available, and
acquirable. Likewise, the achievement of vocational competence poses no
insurmountable barrier.
In other words the real problem of blindness is not the blindness itselfnot the
acquisition of skills or techniques or competence. The real problem is the lack of
understanding and the misconceptions which exist. It is no accident that the word
"blind" carries with it connotations of inferiority and helplessness. The concept
undoubtedly goes back to primitive times when existence was at an extremely
elemental level. Eyesight and the power to see were equated with light, and light

(whether daylight or firelight) meant security and safety. Blindness was equated with
darkness, and darkness meant danger and evil. The blind person could not hunt
effectively or dodge a spear. In our day society and social values have changed. In
civilized countries there is now no great premium on dodging a spear, and hunting
has dwindled to the status of an occasional pastime. The blind are able to compete on
terms of equality in the full current of active life. The primitive conditions of jungle
and cave are gone, but the primitive attitudes about blindness remain. The blind are
thought to live in a world of "darkness," and darkness is equated with evil, stupidity,
sin, and inferiority. Do I exaggerate? I would that it were so. Consider the very
definition of the word "blind," the reflection of what it means in the language, its
subtle shades and connotations. The 1962 printing of the World Publishing
Company's college edition of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American
Language defines "blind" as follows: "without the power of sight; sightless; eyeless.
lacking insight or understanding done without adequate directions or knowledge: as,
blind search. reckless; unreasonable. not controlled by intelligence: as, blind destiny.
insensible. drunk. illegible; indistinct. In architecture, false. walled up: as, a blind
window." The 1960 edition of Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary says: "blind.
Sightless. Lacking discernment; unable or unwilling to understand or judge; as, a
blind choice. Apart from intelligent direction or control; as, blind chance. Insensible;
as, a blind stupor; hence, drunk. For sightless persons; as, a blind asylum.
Unintelligible; illegible; as, blind writing." There are a number of reasons why it is
extremely difficult to change public attitudes about blindness. For one thing, despite
the fact that many achievements are being made by the blind and that a good deal of
constructive publicity is being given to these achievements, there are strong countercurrents of uninformed and regressive publicity and propaganda. It is hard to realize,
for instance, that anyone still exists who actually believes the blind are especially
gifted in music or that they are particularly suited to weaving or wickerwork. It is
hard to realize that any well-educated person today believes that blind people are
compensated for their loss of sight by special gifts and talents. Yet, I call your
attention to a section on blindness appearing in a book on government and
citizenship which is in current use in many public high schools throughout our
country. Not in some bygone generation, but today, hundreds of thousands of ninthgrade students will study this passage:

1. As children, we were taught things from brushing teeth to


tying shoelaces, being observant of the people around us,
and being careful on places unfamiliar to us for living
independently purposes. As for the blinds and visually
impaired individuals, they get to struggle every time they do
any of these. Just leaving a room, they needed to be
adapted to it first, examining the place by the use of their
sense of touch or a stick.
2. Privilege to travel from place to place around the world is
indeed one of the simple happiness anyone would die for.
With the numerous experiences of seeing sceneries, feeling
each places distinct ambiances, filling our curious minds
with almost everything, who wouldnt? In the case of blind
people, just getting to anywhere is a challenge for them.
Theyre unsure of so many things; some are reluctant to
trust people with the directions, so theyd rather stay in
their own comfort zones.
3. For the 314 million visually impaired individuals and the 45
million blind individuals in the world, as estimated by the
World Health Organization, daily tasks that seeing people
take for granted can become difficult challenges.
[LIVESTRONG] From getting dressed in the morning, to
cooking breakfast and even commuting are great
hindrances to simple and independent living.
4. Until now, the complete integration of the blind individuals
into society on a basis of equality is quite difficult to
implement in most places. The public believe that blindness
means a life of unrelieved tragedy, dependency,
helplessness, and inferiority.