Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Visually Impaired Individuals

Holiday shopping for your loved ones is never an easy task, and it can be even more of a challenge if they are visually impaired. Like with any gift, you want it to be meaningful, but for someone who is visually impaired, you also want to make sure it’s accessible. For adults, you might want to consider something that will enhance their everyday lives such as something for the kitchen or a nice new watch. CVI has lots of great options for this type of gift. When picking out a gift for a child, look for toys that are fun and appropriate for the child’s physical abilities and visual level.

Toys for visually impaired children can be tough to select, especially if you don’t know what to look for. All you really need is something that creates valuable playtime for the child. For example, a visually impaired child gets a lot more out of a toy that has an interesting texture than something with a lot of color to it. It’s also important to find something that’s easy to use, easy to clean and safe to play with!

We’ve got some great gift ideas for all ages listed below. Some of these items can be found at the VisAbility Hub located on the first floor of the Center for the Visually Impaired, and you will receive a 20% discount through December 21.

Infants

  • Touch and feel books to encourage tactile exploration. (This is in the store!)
  • Easily activated musical and light up toys to help with the understanding of cause and effect relationships.
  • Bell balls with continuous noises to encourage the child to crawl toward the sound and retrieve the ball.

Toddlers

  • Riding toys or push cart type toys such as a shopping cart to encourage pretend play and to help children pull up and eventually to act as an adapted mobility device when walking.
  • Braille blocks for exposure to braille and work on stacking. (This is in the store!)
  • Match & store shape sorter for the development of skills such as sorting, matching, putting in, and taking out. (This is in the store!)

Preschool Age (3-9)

  • Pretend play items such as a kitchen set or dress up clothes such as a doctor, firefighter, etc. to encourage self-help skills such as dressing, cooking, or feeding, and to create conversations about community helpers.
  • Baby dolls, action figures, cars, trains, etc. to encourage imaginative play, playing family roles, and social skills.
  • A Wooden Lacing Shoe, which teaches your child how to lace and tie their own shoes at a young age. (This is in the store!)

Older Kids (Middle School – High School)

  • Electronic devices are huge with this age group. These days, most smart phones are accessible through screen reading software. It could be helpful to consult your child’s teachers to see what products work better than others, and what could be useful in class.
  • This is also a great age to develop any musical talents. Starter packs for beginner musicians are typically pretty cost-efficient, and learning a musical instrument is great for teaching discipline and patience
  • Board games and cards are also great! We have decks of large print playing cards, UNO, accessible chess, Boggle, Scrabble, Racko, the Yahtzee “Hands Down!” card game and dominoes. (This is in the store!)

Adults

  • Practical, accessible, every-day items are great gifts for adults. Some items to consider are kitchen items such as a talking food scale or double nylon spatulas, bold-lined paper, bold-writing pens, talking clocks, talking watches and magnifiers. (These are in the store!)
  • Tech tools like key finders and the latest smart phone can be very useful items.
  • The holidays are a great time of year to update or replace any white canes that might be worse for wear. (These are in the store!).

Check out our stock online, or come to the store to test some our items for yourself. For items that you can’t find in our store, here are a few resources that might be helpful to you brailleworks.com, pathstoliteracy.org and familyconnect.org.