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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Getting Around

Not all people considered blind use a long white cane or dog guide. People who are visually impaired and do not use long canes or dog guides often rely on their remaining sight and auditory and tactile cues in their surroundings for orientation and travel.

How Can You Make It Easier To Move Around Your Home?

  • Replace worn carpeting, and remove area rugs. Move electrical cords away from walkways. Use nonskid products to clean and polish floors.
  • Use contrasting colors to make doors and stairs easier to see.
  • Move furniture out of the main traffic areas in your home, and keep desk chairs and table chairs pushed in.
  • Keep cabinet, closet, and room doors fully open or fully closed—not half open.
  • Make sure that lighting in hallways and stairwells is bright and even.
  • Use railings when climbing stairs.
  • Make it easy to locate electrical outlets and light switches, oven dials, hot pads, and doorknobs by using color contrasts.

Are You Concerned About Traveling Safely Outside Of Your Home?

  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes.
  • Plan your route before you go. Identify landmarks that are easy for you to detect and use them as reference points.
  • Cross streets only at crosswalks. If you are uncertain about when it is safe to cross, don't hesitate to ask for help.
  • When walking with another person, it may be helpful to hold onto his or her arm slightly above the elbow and walk about a half step behind. This will allow the person to guide you comfortably.

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