Gift Shopping Tips For People With Vision Loss

November 2, 2022

Posted on Able News 

By Jeremy Morak and Jeff Ambury

For some, shopping for gifts can be tricky. The pressure people put on themselves 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.

It’s easy to find tips on buying gifts for people who are blind or visually impaired, but what about the other way around?

Here are some tips that can help people who are blind or have low vision reduce the stress and bring joy back into the process of buying gifts.

Using The Chat Feature On Shopping Websites

Many retail websites such as Target or Walmart have chat functions as part of their websites. If one knows the type of gift they 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.

Gifts Can Be Made From The Heart

There are many options for gifts that one can make that by knitting, baking treats, writing a poem or story, etc. These gifts come straight from the heart and are often more sentimental than purchasing something from a store.

Be Organized And Have A Plan

Whether one is purchasing alone or with the aid of someone, having a plan beforehand is vital. One should write out a list of gifts that they 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 to find the right present.

Ask For Assistance

Whether at a store or shopping online, there is no shame in asking a trusted friend or family member for help as long as one is prepared with the type of gift they want to purchase. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.

Time Management

Time should be allotted for shopping instead of last minute purchasing. Perhaps shopping should start a month ahead of the holiday/occasion instead of a week. Multiple days to buy gifts should be set aside, rather than only planning to buy all gifts on the same day.

Using Apps For Assistance

AIRA and Be My Eyes are apps allow one to call trained professionals and volunteers on the phone who have access to the users phone camera to provide visual information to assist with selecting a gift in a store.

Purchasing Tickets To An Event

A potential gift idea could be purchasing tickets to an event such as a sporting event, theater show, music concert, comedy show, etc.

A Dinner Out

The fun memories that can be shared at a great restaurant will last a lifetime.

Preparation is key for optimal gift shopping success with the least amount of anxiety. A plan should be made several weeks before the special day.

One should brainstorm the best gift options and be proactive. Most importantly, the thought counts. Making the effort shows caring and the recipient will appreciate that gift most of all.

Jeremy Morak is a Marketing Manager and Jeff Ambury is a Vision Rehab Therapist and Orientation and Mobility Instructor at Lighthouse Guild.

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