Gift Shopping Tips for People with Vision Loss
For some, shopping for gifts can be tricky — the pressure we put on ourselves to find that one item that will bring joy to someone can be stressful. Now add the challenges of being visually impaired to the equation, and an activity that could be joyous can feel overwhelming. We have provided tips for purchasing gifts for people with vision loss [ check out the list] but what about the other way around?
We’ve asked Lighthouse Guild Rehabilitation Specialist Gertie Reigondeaux to provide ways to make the gift shopping process easier for people who are blind or have low vision. Here are five tips that can help reduce the stress and bring joy back into the process:
1. Use the chat feature on shopping websites.
Many retail websites such as Target or Walmart have chat functions as part of their websites. If you know the type of gift you want to buy but have trouble navigating the site and finding the right item, the chat function can be very helpful because it connects the user to a customer service representative. A representative can offer assistance finding the gift, describing the size and color of the gift, and help put the exact item in your virtual shopping cart. If you are less tech-savvy, you can also call the store’s customer service, and they can assist in the same way over the phone.
2. Be creative! You can make a fabulous gift from the heart!
There are many options for gifts that you can make yourself that include knitting, baking treats, writing a poem or story for your loved ones, etc. These gifts come straight from the heart and are often more sentimental than purchasing something from a store.
3. Be organized. Have a plan.
Whether you are purchasing alone or with the aid of someone, having a plan beforehand is vital. Write out a list of gifts that you are interested in purchasing. Be sure to include as many details as possible about the items. It will be much easier for the person assisting you in finding the right present.
4. Gift cards are great gifts too!
If you can’t think of anything specific or you don’t have time to figure out the perfect present, gift cards come in handy! They are easy to purchase and give the receiver more flexibility.
5. Ask for assistance.
Whether at a store or shopping online, there is no shame in asking a trusted friend or family member for help. Just be sure that you are prepared with the type of gift you want to purchase, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Preparation is key for optimal gift shopping success with the least amount of anxiety. Have a plan several weeks before the special day. Brainstorm the best gift options, and be proactive! Most importantly, the thought counts — your efforts mean you care, and your friend or loved one will appreciate that gift most of all.