Holiday Gift Guide – For Those Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

By Brandon Smith

Time to take a break from the serious issues and have some holiday fun! This has always been my favorite time of year so I’m going to share some ideas on gift giving in this issue.

Personally, I don’t believe in the motto “it’s the thought that counts.” This expression portrays there was real thought put into the gift when it was most likely a decision made with little thought at all.

Here are ideas that may make your gift giving decisions a bit easier if you’re shopping for a visually-impaired friend or family member.

A number of items exist for making the kitchen a more accessible place for those chefs in your life. Everything from braille measuring tools like cups and spoons to talking thermometers and timers, and boil alert devices.

For those of us who aren’t as inclined, or don’t have time to whip up a fancy meal, there is Magic Chef Talking Microwave. This is a fully accessible microwave that costs $330.

There is everything from braille playing cards to a braille Scrabble set. These options are budget-friendly, and give blind individuals a chance to share a game with their sighted peers since components are labeled in braille and print.

Random wacky gifts:
If the person you’re buying for enjoys pasta then the Musical Pasta Timer from Speak to Me is the gift for them. For $20 you’ll get a unique timer that can be set for specific types of pastas. Al Dente will sing to you letting you know your pasta is done. For some extra fun in your home or office try the Talking & Repeating Parrot. This parrot not only records and remembers speech, but has his own expressions and comes with a handy pen holder.

Purchasing a phone for yourself can be a daunting task, never mind for someone else. There are many variables to consider: price, carrier, plan, color, size, and accessibility, just to name a few. Most of this comes down to preference. A good starting point to consider is what phone the person currently uses. The IPhone6 is the way to go if you prefer having all of your switches and buttons. For the latest and greatest, the IPhone8 is recommended. If the person prefers Android, a couple of options are the Samsung Galaxy or the Moto G5 Plus.

Thankfully, the accessible phone options these days are many. Happy holidays and thoughtful gift giving!