Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

What do the blind and visually impaired enjoy about the great outdoors?

A few months ago my wife lost her eyesight due to pseudotumor cerebri. Basically, an excess of spinal fluid put pressure on her optic nerves and cut off the blood supply. At present it looks like they were so damaged she'll never get her eyesight back.

We're both geologists/science teachers and enjoy getting outdoors. She had just gotten her first taste of kayaking on lakes before going into the hospital with thrombosis that ultimately put the final nail in her eyesight's coffin.

As we get her adaptive training and physical therapy from her surgeries, I want to eventually help her get back out to enjoying being outdoors. Naturally, this will be at her own pace and her own decision. But, I am trying to get ideas in preparation for the day she wants to head out with trekking poles in hand.

My question is what do the blind enjoy about being outdoors. I'm sure there's the sounds, the smells, the feeling of open space you can get by the different quality of sound and such. But I would like feedback from people that are blind and like getting outdoors. I want to get ideas on what kind of trips I can plan that will provide her with the sensory stimuli you guys seek when heading outdoors. The sound of running water? The touch of cool, bare rock and soft, moist moss?

She has lamented that she is a very visual person.. but I tell her she has always been a very sensory person. Not just visual. I'm trying to help her adapt to the idea of experiencing the world to the fullest through her other senses and would benefit greatly from whatever special insights you folks can provide.

Thanks.

There are currently 7 replies

Sort Replies Oldest to Newest


Re:What do the blind and visually impaired enjoy about the great outdoors?



I'm a sighted male. Blind people can go treasure hunting on a dry sandy beach. You need a metal detector and a plastic scoop with some holes in it. The holes have to be small enough so coins and rings will stay in the scoop when the sand falls out. The metal detector I use on the beach is a simple one. It makes a whistling noise. You have to listen to the whistling sound while you swing the search coil left and right over the sand in front of you as you walk forward. When the sound of the whistle fades or stops, you know the search coil is directly over
a piece of metal. Then you scoop up the sand below the search coil. The sand will fall through the holes leaving coins and rings in the scoop. You can hear them rattle!

It's so easy a blind person can do it.


Re:What do the blind and visually impaired enjoy about the great outdoors?



Oh, and she can skydive! I have been skydiving once before and it was the most amazing outdorrs adventure I've ever experienced!


Re:What do the blind and visually impaired enjoy about the great outdoors?



I totally agree with Sherri. She can do anything she puts her mind to. I am legally blind an getting ready for my guide dog. I go bungee jumping, have flown a stunt plane, ride horsese, roller coasters, and carnival rides. I am a thrill seeker, and am very adventurous.


being outdoors and activities



There are kiyaks for two so you can steer and you both can enjoy the water, the sound of birds, the warmth of the sun, the feel of the breeze and the pleasure of being together in a quiet setting.


Re:What do the blind and visually impaired enjoy about the great outdoors?



Hi, I think you love your wife a whole lot. You should ask her that question. I'm legally blind,but I still love to be outdoors. I love it when I go fishing and do better than people with good vision. You just have to really think about things in a differnt way. I'm going to try snowboarding this winter. If you need any help planning


Re:What do the blind and visually impaired enjoy about the great outdoors?



TAKE IT SLOW.SHE NEEDS TO GET USE TO BEING BLIND.THEN GO ON SHORT DAY TRIPS AFTER SHE BECOMES COMFORTABLE WITH A CANE OR A DOG.LET HER CHOOSE TO EXPLORE NATURE AGAIN.GO CAMPING,ROAST MARSHMELLOWS NEAR A STREAM.


Re:What do the blind and visually impaired enjoy about the great outdoors?



Check out (google it) web sites for OUTDOOR ADVENTURES FOR DISABLED PEOPLE. There are a few organizations that consist of experienced people who work with people who have all kinds of disabilitie (blindness included) to help them continue or start a new exposure to the outdoors and/or various sports. Some are specifically trained and others are volunteers who learn by experience. I know they can and do create wonderful opportunities for people with all forms of disabilities to continue or start skiing, kayaking, hiking, skydiving, jogging or racing, horseback riding, etc. etc. Anything is possible!

It just occurred to me... probably you didn't get replies from blind people because they cannot read this forum! Try the organizations that work with the blind on these adventures.... their experience may be helpful.
How great that you are seeking these answers to help your loved one!


Log in to Post a Reply