Submitted by: Empish J. Thomas, CVI’s Public Education Manager
All term papers are written, turned in and graded. Final exams are over. School has let out and summer is right around the corner. But before we go on vacation and head to the beach or camp; we have to celebrate graduation! Now, what do you get a visually impaired or blind student who is graduating? Need some suggestions? If so, check out the list below for some cool gift ideas.
- Technology is one of the many things that graduates like for a gift. Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. These are all great ideas for that high school or college graduate. But to take it a step farther for the blind or visually impaired it is important to be sure that the various pieces of technology are accessible and easy for them to use independently. So, look at purchasing JAWS or Majic software packages. They are made by Freedom Scientific and come in student editions. Both programs make a Windows operating system accessible to a person with a visual impairment.
- Once you got the computer and accessible software set up a good gift idea for a low vision graduate is a desk lamp. Some people with low vision need extra lighting and adjustable desk lamps like the Tulip found at CVI’s VisAbility Store meet that need. The neck of the lamp pivots and maneuvers to aim the light exactly where needed for maximum effect.
- Talking, low vision, or braille watches and clocks are a great gift for graduates to be more independent as they enter the adult world. No more mom and dad having to constantly nag them to get up and get going.
- If you have a graduate that is college bound, items for notetaking are an excellent gift idea. When taking notes in class or doing assignments it is important to have the proper writing tools. Low vision students can take notes with dark-lined paper and 20/20 pens. Blind students can use a slate and stylus with Braille paper.
- Some graduates can have a busy social life during the summer. Participating in camp, going to see accessible movies, and socializing are all a part of being active. So a great gift idea is getting large print or braille playing cards and accessible board games. These games can be played with sighted and blind friends. Additionally, graduates can take them to college for continuing socialization.
- Of course, graduates must remain stylish during the summer and also in preparation for college or the workforce. So items like talking clothing identifiers, tactual clothing tape, and the Pen Friend will help those fashion-conscious stay trendy.
- And the ultimate graduation gift, in my opinion, is one that never goes out of style. One that graduates like year after year. That is cold hard cash! It can be given in denominations of your choosing. Along with the cash you can provide an accessible leather wallet to help with organizing. Or the graduate can sign up for a free money identifier through GLASS. These small palm size devices are handy ways to audibly identify paper currency.
So, whether a graduate is visually impaired or blind, these are just a few items that are excellent for graduation gifts. But many more can be found at CVI’s VisAbility Store. The Store is currently having a 75% off sale during the month of June so even more reason to stop by for extra savings. The store is located on the main floor of CVI and is opened Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information call 404-875-9011 or visit www.visabilitystore.org.