Getting Into the Swim of Things as a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired


Dad and kids in pool

Come on in; the water's fine!

AFB continues our summer recreation series with a look at swimming. Swimming can be an excellent activity for people who are blind or visually impaired. Whether you are looking to swim some serious laps, get a great workout, or just cool off on a sweltering day, get the latest on the quintessential summertime activity.

Before you head to the beach or the pool, read up on VisionAware's Tips for Swimmers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.

Children or beginning adult swimmers might need to swim with a life jacket on at all times, or with a "tapper"—someone to tap them to tell them when the end of the pool is coming. They might need to swim along the lane lines, or be made aware of other tactile landmarks. For more information about how to adapt swimming for the blind or visually impaired, check out Physical Education and Sports for People with Visual Impairments and Deafblindness: Foundations of Instruction by Lauren J. Lieberman, Paul E. Ponchillia, and Susan V. Ponchillia, available in the AFB Bookstore.

FamilyConnect blogger Emily Coleman offers a parent's perspective on the challenges of summertime water park excursions and swimming with a child who is blind.

If you are looking for places to swim in your area, consult our Directory of Services for a comprehensive list of recreational activities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

And if you haven't read it, do not miss this charming (and funny) account of swimming in the ocean for the very first time, written by Helen Keller.

Enjoy your time in the water and more importantly, enjoy the summer!