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Caregiver Tips
for People with Low Vision
By Deborah Kogler

1. Do not raise your voice or talk louder. Many people have a tendency to automatically raise their voice when they speak to someone with low vision.

2. Learn how to give better directional information. Instead of saying 'look at that' or 'look over here, try saying, "look to your left and you can see the pretty yellow tulips."

3. Use contrasting colors and limit the number of colors. Too many colors can be confusing and look like one big blob. Good contrasting color choices include Black & White, Black & Yellow, and Blue & Yellow. Avoid the color red as this can be a very difficult color for the visually impaired to see.

4. Print words instead of cursively writing them. Cursive writing has too many loops and connections that make it difficult for a vision impaired person to differentiate the letters.

5. Printing in all capital letters also makes it much easier to read. Using a dark bold pen/marker is extremely helpful.

6. When using the computer to send emails, make the font at least 16 points and use easy to read fonts such as Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New.

7. Not all magnifiers are created equal. Do not assume that the stronger the power of the magnifier the better someone will see. As the strength of quality magnifier increases the physical size of the magnifier is diminished.

8. Large print items such as remote controls, watches, address books, calendars, books and pill boxes makes it easier for the visually impaired to remain independent.

9. Contact your local library about receiving books on tapes. This is a free service that is offered by the National Library of Congress. Both the tapes and the tape machine are free from the library.

10. Consider purchasing a reading machine, (also called video magnification). These machines allow for multiple steps of magnification in several viewing modes. Many people are again able to enjoy reading, writing, hobbies and crafts using CCTV reading machine units.

Deborah Kogler is a licensed optician and owner of Magnifiers & More. For more information or any questions, please feel free to call 440-946-3363.

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