Monday, March 24, 2014

Do blind people decorate the interiors of their homes?

I don't doubt that blind people are social, capable of living independently, and often have homes of their own. But how do they decorate the interiors? What demand is their for ornate molding or exquisite chandeliers when they could carpet the walls and decorate according to what is pleasing to their fully-functioning senses?

I couldn't pin down a decent answer for this one. This one has eluded previous attempts at an answer, but today I revisited the cold-question wild mild success.

From The American Foundation for the Blind and VisionAware: Resources for Independent Living with Vision Loss:

  • For a person who is "legally blind" and does not live in complete darkness, make use of contrasting colors to highlight important items in a room. If the room is white, paint electrical sockets and light switches black. Also, vivid colorations highlighted by lighting can create pleasant variety in what the eye picks up.
  • Arrange the furniture in a safe arrangement that does not inhibit "obvious flow" of traffic. If rugs rugs are used, make sure all edges are taped down to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Use varying textures to help the sightless re-orient themselves within the living space if necessary. Consider using different upholsteries for different chairs and pillows. Avoid patterns on upholstery and flooring - stripes and checks and create confusion for people who are moderately vision impaired.
  • Appeal to the sense of smell with varying incenses, potpourris, or fresh cut flowers to be inviting. Having a devoted place for the smells to originate from will also help the vision impaired to stay oriented in the room.
  • Windchimes and fountains can provide great audio cues within a home
  • Always push in chairs when they are not being used at a table
  • Use non-skid finishes on any hardwood or linoleum flooring

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