Can you hear the sleigh bells jingling? It’s time to embrace the spirit of gift giving as we step into this holiday season.
Here are 12 Gift Ideas for Blind or Visually Impaired Friends and Loved Ones.
If you are good friends, or it’s for someone you know very well, think of a simple, but unique item that would truly put a smile on their face. What are their interests, crafts, music, food, pets, sports? How about an ornament or keepsake with their name, cherished quote, or inside joke.
One thing to keep in mind when giving custom gifts to someone who’s blind or partially sighted, remember that they would appreciate something they could see or feel. If your gift is for someone who has low vision, make sure that the picture is clear, and the writing will be easy for them to read. Opt for large print with an easy-to-read font and high contrast colours.
If you’re giving something to someone who’s severely sight impaired, make sure that the gift isn’t something just visually appealing, but something that’s also tactile. For example, instead of a keychain with a picture of their favourite dog, it could be a keychain with that shape. If you can’t find a way to Braille something for someone who’s Braille reader, you can have a single character or image engraved or embossed.
You can’t go wrong with traditional festive treats. Sweet canes, gingerbread men, Christmas pudding truffles, chocolate oranges, and all variety of holiday biscuits will delight.
You can elevate these traditional treats with some extra thoughtful touches. If possible, find out what their preferences are beforehand. You can also take the time to label the goodies with Braille or large print. And whenever you’re dealing with food, be aware of allergies.
Tasty and ‘Tealightful’
Cosy beverages like teas, hot chocolates, and coffees would go well with delicious traditional sweets. It’s a wonderful treat to pull out a cherished favourite or try out new flavours all through the holiday season.
Whether it’s a peppermint scented candle for the season, or toiletries in their favourite scents, aroma therapy is wonderful. Everyone can always use pleasant smelling hand sanitisers and lotions to take along on the go. Soaps, bath products and essential oils are likewise pleasant stocking fillers.
For these gifts, it helps to know what kinds of scents they enjoy. Also, there are a few things to be mindful of with such gifts for someone who’s visually impaired. You may want to select more subtle scents. People with vision impairments rely on all their other senses and they may be sensitive to overpowering aromas.
Additionally, only give candles to someone who will be confident with them. Candles can be difficult to light or may pose a safety hazard for some people. If you know someone with sight loss that loves candles and can manage without a second thought, by all means, scented candles are warm and cozy gifts.
Essential oils are a great alternative to candles. They come in a wide variety and are versatile. They can be mixed with Coconut oil and applied for skin and hair treatments, or as something that can be very relaxing. They can also be used with diffusers which can easily be turned on and off with buttons, unlike candles.
Merry & Bright
A handheld or handsfree head torch would be a great stocking filler for someone who is partially sighted. Torches are useful for tasks that require extra lighting, for example sewing. They can also be very useful for someone who struggles at night or in dimly lit environments. It’s always great to have a couple of extra torches ready and available.
A Touching Gift
Tactile identifiers and markers are useful tools to include as stocking fillers for people who have low vision or are blind. Bump dots come in different styles and sizes and can stick to buttons and appliances. They make it easier for someone with vision impairment to identify, for example, where the ‘Start’ button is on their microwave. It’s convenient to always have them on hand for when there’s something new or when old ones lose their adhesive over time.
There are various kinds of markers to help someone who’s blind identify and match their clothing. Pocket Money Brailler for marking cash could also be very helpful. Find out what’s available from your local low vision centre, enquire from nearby sight loss charity or search online for various tactile markers.
A Gift That Really Speaks
Small talking gadgets like a talking keychain watch or talking thermometers are helpful tools to include as stocking fillers. A talking cooking thermometer is so useful for someone who relies on timing and temperature instead of how the food appears. Check out your local low vision centre or go online to find nifty talking tools that come in so handy.
Fun in All Dimensions
For those who are sighted, the Rubix Cube is an iconic toy for party favours and holiday stockings. Did you know that there are tactile cubes and various 3D puzzles for those who rely on their sense of touch? Brain teasers and fidget toys are fun gifts for both puzzle lovers and creative minds.
Deck the Cards with Braille and Large Print
In addition to 3D puzzles, playing cards are accessible stocking fillers for a friend or a loved one who’s blind or partially sighted. This holiday season, why not create new memories with a family game of Uno, Crazy 8s, and Rummy?
Made with Love
Are you an artist or a crafter? Do you know someone who is? Whether it’s from you, or something you’ve commissioned from a friend, homemade gifts may just be the perfect something for your friend or loved one. A woolly hat, a crocheted scarf, and handmade jewelry; what better way to make someone feel loved with something especially crafted for them. With these types of items, just be mindful of the guidelines we’ve specified. Gifts will be much appreciated when you’ve made an effort for them to be accessible. Make sure they are visible or tactile.
Gift cards and subscriptions are awesome stocking fillers or big gifts for someone with sight loss. Gift cards for shops and restaurants would be great if they can be redeemed online. It may be easier for someone using a screen reader or magnification to access the online shop or order food, rather than struggling to get transportation to an actual place.
Subscriptions for treats or beverages like tea, coffee, and wine, would be most excellent as they are delivered to their door. Just be sure that their online shop or app is accessible for someone who’s using magnification or a screen reader. Some companies require patrons to create accounts for monthly selections.
This rule also applies for digital content, like streaming services, podcasts, and audiobooks. You want to make sure that the digital content is accessible to your friend or loved one. If they have a smart speaker, one subscription you can’t go wrong with is the RealSAM Hub. It allows users to stream newspapers, radios, podcasts, and thousands of books from 5 amazing libraries.
A Present for All Seasons
If you’re really looking for something completely accessible for your loved one, why not a RealSAM Phone or a RealSAM Pocket for Christmas? RealSAM phones are fully voice operated for anyone who’s struggling to use a conventional smartphone. With a simple, ‘tap to talk’ button they’ll be able to make calls, manage contacts, and send messages. With this gift they’ll be able to stay in touch all year round.
With Pocket, they’ll also be able to stay connected with access to unlimited streaming for no additional subscription. Find out about our data plans and SIM free offers from our Online Shop.
It’s the Thought that Counts
These are 12 ideas with tips and advice for giving amazing stocking fillers and gifts this Christmas. If you find these suggestions helpful, be sure to share. But remember, it’s the thought that really counts and your friends and loved ones will just love the fact that you thought of them.