Guest Author - Dean Ingalls
The loss of vision requires an individual to learn new methods of accomplishing tasks. One such task that requires a person who is experiencing vision loss to develop new ways of accomplishing the task is cooking.
Researchers, inventors and manufacturers have developed a large number of products allowing a person with low-vision to continue to cook and prepare meals. Discovering what particular products work best becomes the next obstacle for the person with low-vision.
Most of the products constructed for use by low-vision users can only be ordered from a catalogue or online company making the decision somewhat of a best guess situation. I soon realized I would need to go through a trial and error process when purchasing low-vision cooking aids. I have spent a great deal of time buying and returning low-vision products. When I read about the product the description of the utensil sounded like a tool I could use but when I actually tried to use the product I was unsuccessful and experienced difficulty using the item.
Here are some suggestions, which may help you learn what low-vision products to purchase.
1. Complete a search for stores that carry low-vision products in your area. You can visit the store and try the product before buying.
2. Contact any vision related organizations in your area for help buying products. Visually impaired organizations sometimes develop a stockpile of commonly used low-vision products and allow clients to test the products before buying.
3. Attend visually impaired/blind seminars or conferences because most vendors providing vision related products setup stations demonstrating products for the visually impaired. You will have the opportunity to examine a product before buying.
4. Talk with your eye doctor, Blind Services or Rehabilitation Department and blind related organization in your area for assistance. Some organizations will send you to a training program where you are tested to discover what low-vision items best meet your needs. In addition, some organizations will send a trained person to your home to complete a list of items needed to help you complete daily tasks.
5. Locate other visually impaired people in your area and visit to learn what products work best for them.
6. Contact schools in your area and ask if the home economic teachers have purchased any products for visually impaired students. Most universities have developed programs for special education students including the visually impaired students and may have an assortment of cooking instruments available for you to test.
Developing a stockpile of low-vision cooking instruments takes time, research, investigation and some trial and error. Companies have developed products that allow the visually impaired to continue to enjoy activities such as cooking. If you enjoy cooking then you owe it to yourself to learn what is available that will help you continue cooking.