Wednesday, October 13, 2021

What Are Some Good Gifts For a Blind or Visually Impaired Person in 2021?

 At this time of year thoughts turn to buying Christmas gifts. But what to buy if you are buying a gift for a blind or visually impaired person.

First of all get to know the person.  Know what they like.

They are a person afterall. 

Fir tree decorated with tinsel and lights covered in snow stands in a forest

I remember my first Christmas after moving to the United States of America.  My wife's parents bought me a pack of 100 socks, yes 50 pairs of identical socks.  I owned socks, I used up valuable space in my bags to ship dozens pairs of comfortable socks from the United Kingdom to the U.S.

Here I was forcing a smile, thanks for the socks.  I'll trasure them always.  Then taking them home, trying on one sock, they were far too small, I could only get the opening of the sock over four toes.

The next year, was more successful, my father-in- law, loved a practical joke.  He put $50 in a paper cover of a can of sardines.  Everyone in the family got a can of sardines.  I was ecstatic, I love sardines.  After everyone else found their $50 I went around the family collecting the cans of sardines too.  Best Christmas present ever!


The moral of that story. Get the  person something they like, show them that you have some knowledge of them as a person and that you have put some effort into deciding what they like.


Having said that here are five easy ideas for a gift, that may be of use to a blind or visually impaired person.


1. Audio book Subscription. 

Buying a subscription to Audible can give the person a gift every month of the year, if you buy a twelve month subscription.


My wife bought me a subscription for the audible service for my birthday.  I love listening to books and now I can look forward to buying a book every month for the next twelve months.  I love to buy Great Courses programs too, some of the older courses are now available as Audible audio files.  They  cost just one audible credit just like a normal book and make great listening...



 2.  A Smart Speaker Device.

I own four Amazon Alexa smart speakers. I have them in four different rooms, the living room, a bedroom, the office and the kitchen.

I use all of them everyday, in the kitchen I use my Dot (Alexa ) as a timer, in the living room, bedroom I listen to books or music and in the office I listen to a variety of streamed radio services and podcasts from all around the world.

It's easy to use, I say "Alexa play BBC Radio four." In seconds I am listening to the BBC.  I can ask Alexa the latest market news for the stock market, or I can ask Alexa to make calculations for me.  Just ask and Alexa will do the job.

3. A Tablet

A tablet or E-Book reader is an excellent device for a blind or visually impaired person.

Many of these devices now come with the ability to record speech as text or read text in a realistic voice. They can do many of the jobs of a micro computer, stram video, give access to the internet and allow you to run e-mail and other business software as well as playing games and using communication software like Skype or Zoom with friends and family.

One such Tablet is the Amazon Fire.

amazon fire tablet

4. An Amazon Gift Card.

Many people love a Gift Card, and the Amazon Gift card is available in many denominations from $20 upwards.

The benefit of an Amazon Gift card is that they do not expire and the recipient can use it to buy what they need when they need it.  It also solves the problem of giving a gift to someone you may not know that well. Remember the socks?

amazon gift card

5. A Smart Watchh.

I own a first generation Apple Smart Watch.  It's about four or five years old now. I wear it everyday.  It records my pulse rate, my steps walked, it reads my emails, it talks to me telling me the time, how much exercise I have taken and it has a calendar too.

all of that and it is connected to my iPhone so if I am away from my phone, but in bluetooth range I can answer and make calls on my watch.

AS a blind person I cannot think of a more useful device to have.

apple smart watch

So there we are five ideas for things that a blind or visually impaired person might like to receive as a Christmas Gift.

Of course it all depends upon how well you know the person. But the best gift of all will you recognizing them as an individual not as a disability.

Thanks for reading.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2022.

Happy Holidays!

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