During the holiday season, it takes extra thought and effort for parents of children and youth who are visually impaired to come up with gift ideas. For our recent ParentConnect zoom meeting we invited our guest speaker Stephanie Hurd. She shared her perspective of growing up blind, raising her family, and her professional career as Assistive Technology/Activities Specialist with Future In Sight about gift ideas for the holidays!
Some takeaways from the meeting are as parents, you know your child best! Tap into your child’s interests! You know what they enjoy so give gifts related to their interests and expand upon that.
For example, a couple of parents say their children are motivated about reading. Books for all ages are always a great gift. Stephanie and the group shared accessible reading resources; Bookshare, an online library for people with print disabilities, and the apps Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Scanner.
Think of outdoor activities that you can enjoy together as a family like ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding, and skiing. Gift items relating to those activities like equipment or tickets in adaptive sports programs are great for any child.
Also, indoor activities that are inclusive to enjoy with their friends like board games and crafts. Be sure that these activities are accessible or that can easily adapt tactilely and with Braille or large print. Also, accessible technology, video games, and electronic devices like a Fire tablet, iPhones, iPads, that have magnification and speech, are great options.
Practical gifts that encourage independence like clocks, watches, and kitchen items that are accessible by speech electronics or by contrast with low vision devices. One of the parents shared that her teenager was interested in cooking and we discussed gift ideas; cooking classes and kitchen appliances like a blender, popcorn maker, utensils, and cookbooks.
It’s also a great time that parents can introduce new interests to their children to explore like a musical instrument or art supplies and crafts kits.
For many more gift ideas broken up by age, click here.
For more information about ParentConnect, click here.
Contact for Future In Sight’s Parent Connect Coordinator, Susan LaVenture, at [email protected]