Some of you wanted to know where I got the gadgets I use regularly. I have a few good gift ideas for blind people. But first, here are the guidelines for buying cheap stuff. We’re talking guidelines for your company or friends’ holiday get together that may prove to be inclusive for a blind friend among your ranks.
IF you’re doing Secret Santas, it may be easier to customize a $20 gift for a blind or physically handicapped individual in your party or group within your company. For one, no such $20 gift or under can be see through, contain touchscreens without accessible ways to use it, or even more so, it can’t be or contain lights unless sound accompanies the lights. Take it from me, I had a very awful experience with white elephant gift giving, but had better experiences with a Secret Santa who was able to buy an inclusive gift.
So how to budget if you’re doing a holiday gift game like Secret Santa, Dirty Santa, or Chinese auction? First, if you’re doing white elephant, don’t accept presents that a disabled party member can’t or won’t be able to trade or use, and this comes from experience. Set a price point, reasonably $20 or under. However, make a few inclusivity guidelines like certain kinds og gifts will be disqualified. Let’s take a look at some inclusive or cheap quick options for gift ideas in the white elephant or gift games category.
You can buy a one size fits all T-shirt, but make sure to describe what it says. IF this is a party full of blind and low vision folks, this might not work. However, gift cards that are $25 or under will work perfectly. For instance, someone can send me an Amazon gift card, and I have a prime account, so there you have it.
You can buy tactile gifts and things that smell like candles, cheap bracelets, or a cheap game of Mancala. You can also try things like massage pillows, durable coffee mugs, thermoses, you name it. A travel bag or purse will also suffice.
The bottom line is that certain things such as rapidly blinking or bright lights must be disqualified, along with printed books, photo albums with pictures the person cannot see, or without description, or certain things that are not 3d and don’t have a way to read the lettering on them. I’ve gotten a photo album, but it will take a bit of thought to label and describe the things in the photo album. My family did this, and it was done well. Each photo had a description written in Braille accompanying the photographs. IF you want to scrapbook, I think photo albums are cute, but making the gift inclusive and having a thoughtful stance on these is important. Also, when you are thinking of the bookworms in your life, please, please don’t buy print. You could buy an Audible or Amazon git card to substitute because Braille books are hard to come by, expensive, and can sometimes be a bit on the large side.
For a family gift that you may want to buy your loved one with a disability, here are some ideas for gifts that I personally would recommend for any and all receivers of good will this holiday.
The Google Home (https://store.google.com/us/product/google_home?hl=en-US) is a smart speaker that comes in certain colors, but they recently released a Google Home Hub, which for blind users happily has voice setup with a CHromevox thing on it, from what I understand to be true. Correct me if I’m wrong. The regular Google Home sells for $150 but sometimes I’ve seen it for $130, and it could be marked down at Walmart or Best Buy.
The Amazon Echo Dot Third Generation (https://www.amazon.com/All-new-Echo-Dot-3rd-Gen/dp/B0792KTHKJ) is another smart speaker that connects with stuff, and the only music subscription you can’t do on this is Google Play Music, but then you have Amazon which has its own music service. Parents, beware. Your child may want a Dot Kids edition, and limit their capacity to order a $179 dollhouse and cookies and such. This speaker has the ability to order things from Amazon with seemless voice purchasing, and it goes to an adult’s credit card. So parents, make sure you put a pin on all purchases done by voice.
In any case, the echo dot 3rd gen runs around $50 same as the Google Home mini, but remember, there are other Echoes you can buy if you want to take it to the next level.
Etsy has lots of DIY gifts, so if you have an account, you can buy Braille Christmas cards for a good price on this site, which has an app.
In any case, there are lots of different gift ideas for blind or low vision folks, any sort of thing except sports strobelights or party lights, especially if the person has not only low vision or blindness, but some have epileptic intolerance of bright light.
Gift cards and their etiquette is highly important. I don’t like the idea of grocery coupons or gift cards because it says a lot about how the giver feels about people’s ability to buy groceries for themselves. It’s all right to give a gift card to stores with everything, like Walmart or Target, but never a grocery gift card. Never ever think that we disabled people don’t deserve real presents, and food is consumed immediately, or almost immediately. Therefore, my recommendation would be to give them the gift of things that don’t have to do with groceries, and restaurants are acceptable things as well. A stocking stuffer that might work would be a restaurant gift card to a place not normally traveled.
Lottery tickets are cute, but are they good stocking stuffers? I don’t think they are.
MErry CHristmas, and happy holiday shopping from the Denver Queen.