Helping yourself

Optimizing daily living

Optical aids have  made a huge difference in the lives of those with vision loss, especially for reading and writing, but much of our daily lives do not center on activities these devices are so effective for. The following list of daily living skills will give you an idea of ways to optimize your daily living activities.

While you can implement many of these on your own, low vision training by a professional rehabilitation service provides the detailed training that will make you feel comfortable and efficient with these adaptations.


Reading/work environment
Make glare free: adjustable lighting; halogen reflector bulb.
Comfortable chair with arm support, good posture
Copy or book-holder, clipboard, ‘bean bag’ lap table, desk or table.

Eccentric viewing
Speed-reading techniques
Track, underle window (typoscope) to isolate lines of text
Hold material at different angle, R/L border marker.

Felt-tip pens
Bold-line stationary
Large-print checks
Writing guides
Templates for signature, envelopes

Sewing, knitting, embroidery, crocheting, crafts:
Sewing machine: magnifier, needle-threader
Hand sewing: large-eyed needles,
Needle-threader; colorful knitting needles.

Crafts and chores: chest supported magnifier
Illuminated stand magnifier (even if too weak for reading).

Recognizing people
Tell friends and acquaintances about problem.
Recognize friends by voice, body type, hairstyle, clothes.

Dialing phone
Large-print dial, large-print phone, memory phone, operator assistance.

Telling time
Change watch hands to black ones
Low vision watch or talking watch / talking time (alarm)
Large-print wall or bedside clock.

Assessment by mobility instructor, instruction if needed
Sighted guide technique (for spouse, family and significant others).

Street signs, bus numbers
Pocket telescope
Ask someone.

Limited license for familiar area
Handicapped parking.

Non-busy hours
Call ahead to request help, volunteer.

Distinguishing coins or paper money
Serrated vs. smooth edge
Folding different denominations
Putting paper money in different wallet compartments

Housework, laundry
Counselor / teacher services,
Adaptation of dials|
House- keeper, attendant / aide, grid-patterns

Large-print recipes
Adaptation of oven and microwave dials
Pouring and measuring techniques
Counselor/teacher services

Contrasting food / dishes / table cloth
Lean over plate a bit
Clock method for identification.
Feel weight of utensil, resistance
Use bread, cracker as a pusher.

Taking Medications
Pill-splitter, pill dispenser
Shape, color, rubber bands on bottles
Family/friends to fill dispenser

Board / table games, sports
Adapted games, large-print playing cards

Sit close
12″ screen at 1ft. is larger than 25″ at 4 ft.

Large-print music
Reproduce on enlarging copier, copyholder
Use more memorization.

Pot vs. plot, tactile sense