Lesson 10: Tips and Tricks

You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.
–Mike Litman

Lesson 10 Tips and Tricks

Congratulations you made it! I am so very proud of you and I hope you are proud of yourself and have both learned and grown throughout these last nine lessons. This lesson is going to be talking about some tips and tricks on making your life a little easier now that you may need to do something’s a little differently. My hope is that it will also get you thinking on how you can do things you may have thought you could no longer do. I have a little tidbit for you. I could never learn how to crochet, but after I lost most of my sight I learned how to crochet. Now, I don’t do it very well and I can only do two stitches. But, the first year I was blind I made everyone a scarf, and I can make granny squares so I have made a couple of blankets.

“If you want to do something, you find a way. If you don’t want to do something, you find an excuse.” Dawn Bauer
Here are 10 tips and tricks for people that are blind or visually impaired:

  1. Tip: when pouring put your finger in the top of the glass so you don’t over pour. You can also listen the sound will change the fuller the glass.
  2. Tip: If you are not steady on your feet get a travel mug for your drinks. They generally have lids and handles so they are easier to carry and less likely to spill.
  3. Trick: take your shirt off before brushing your teeth, that way you will be sure never to have toothpaste on your shirt. (Yes, I learned this from one to many embarrassing experiences)
  4. Tip: if you have more than 1 bottle in your shower put a rubber band around 1 of them to be able to tell the difference.
  5. Trick: to tell the color of your pants apart cut slits in the tags – 1 slit = blue, 2 slits = red, etc.
  6. Tip: if you use a white cane put your name on it (I tape a return address label on mine) so it can be returned to you. Also you might want to put a keychain or ribbon on it so you can find it easier.
  7. You can put safety pins at the hem of pants and skirts to tell the color apart
  8. Use puffy material paint (sold at craft stores) to mark your stove and microwave.
  9. Pin socks together before washing to keep together
  10. Use small boxes to keep canned goods together.

How many more can you come up with?

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
Gail Devers

According to DailyStrength.org; “The standard wheelchair needs a minimum of 5 feet (60′′ × 60′′) to turn around. Actually, a space longer than wider (63′′ × 56′′ is often preferable, especially in the kitchen and bathroom). This holds true for walkers too. For a wheelchair or a person on a walker to get through without scraping knuckles, doorways need to be a minimum of 32 inches, but preferably 36 inches wide. You need the turning radius of your wheelchair, plus 18 to 24 inches of clearance on the side of the door that opens (so that you can get around it).

The average person can reach a maximum of 48 inches to the front and 54 inches to the side, no higher than 52 to 60 inches, and no lower than 9 inches on the side or 12 inches in front. Countertops should be 27 to 32 inches high depending on work to be done there. Note: If you are taller, your range of reach will be more, if you are shorter, your range of reach will be less. Adjust accordingly.”

Here are some tips for people in wheelchairs.
1. When out and about make sure to locate the bathroom before you need to use it, because you will now need more time.
2. Organize your kitchen so you can reach things easily, even if it is only a few pieces of each item.
3. Remove area rugs and if possible all rugs.
4. Have cordless phones so you can carry them with you
5. Make sure you do not have money or valuables behind you, always keep them either on your lap or beside you. Many times people in wheelchairs have bags behind their wheelchairs, they can be prime areas for shoplifters, so be aware.
The next several tips all come from the website Meeting Life’s Challenges and Making Life Easier http://makinglifeeasier.com/TagsList/tabid/576/ArticleTagId/400/ArticleTypeId/10/Default.aspx’
6. Reachers come in various lengths, weights, and means of operation. Find the styles that work for you in various situations (reaching cans on a shelf, picking something up off the floor, etc.
7 Make it easier to reach light switches Use light switch extenders to make lights easier to turn on and off.
8 Slide onto the seat in your car more easily Over-the-seat plastic car seat covers can make getting into your car easier.
9 Turn faucets on/off easier with longer kitchen lever arm faucets Kitchen faucets usually have longer levers, so they are easier to use in both the kitchen and bathroom.
10 Make doorways wider by removing door jambs
To make your home doorways wider and more accessible to someone in a wheelchair, try removing the door jambs.

One last tip for anyone with a disability is get your groceries delivered. Check with your local grocery stores for fresh food and. You can purchase non-perishables online at discounts and they will be delivered right to your door.
“Anything in this world is possible and you have the capacity to acquire all that you set your sights on. Believe in yourself, you possess the inner drive to accomplish all of your desires. If you commit yourself entirely to the things you want and maintain the strength to follow through, you will succeed in reaching your goals.”

The above tips and tricks are just a small list to get you started. Open your mind and see how creative you can be with coming up with your own tips and tricks. Remember you may use some or none of what is listed above. Everyone is different and unique and that is what makes the world so wonderful! So come on over to our private Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/10lessonempowerment/
and share what tips and tricks you use and maybe have come up with. I can’t wait to hear your ideas! Remember I am so very proud of you for completing this course and taking the first steps to empower yourself. If you would like to continue with some one on one coaching please drop me a line so we can set something up. Until then,

Take care,

©Yvonne Garris 2014 all rights reserved
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