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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

New to blindness

I am 26 year old daughter who's father recently became blind. This is the 7 month my father has been considered disabled. I am reaching out in anyway i can to get any advice on how to cope with my fathers disability. My sister, his girlfriend and all take a hand i caring for him. He has always been independent, worked maintenance/ construction mostly all his life. Was employed full time for 15 years before his accident and now he often gets depressed about having to depend on us for everything. I know there has to be technology out there that can help him. He hasn't lost total sight and his sight changes from day to day but is never clear, but still considered blind due to nerve damage. If anyone has advice on different devices that can help him or even just words of encouragement for myself and family going through this, I know things will get better but its relief to hear from someone who live it everyday.
Things my dad likes that might help in which types of devices were looking for
-loves music
-misses reading the newspaper
-loves to cook he can still do a little prepping
-he struggles with going out in public
-needs to exercise

thank you to all those who will read this

There are currently 4 replies

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Re: New to blindness

Hello, My name is Patti.. I am so happy that your father has a wonderful support system! Believe me it is really a blessing for him; because depression can lead to isolation. I love the suggestions about contacting your state agency for the blind. When you call and I am so sorry you may have things in place now for your father; but when you call let them know that he is newly blind. Ask them what they offer, and also please ask if they have any types of Peer Support activities; because one of the ways that can majorly improve his outlook is to talk with others, and interact with others who have the same degree of vision or less. . I've been blind my entire life, but when I became an adult, I went to Peer Support. That helped me immensely.

I also understand, that some people find support groups to be overwhelming, so one thing that I would suggest too is when your father is evaluated for services if he is that type of person who feels overwhelmed by groups ask what they suggest to help him.
If you need someone to just listen or ha any questions at all, my email is:

Re: New to blindness

Crista- Thank you so much yes it does get frustrating not only for myself but I feel my 4 year old son feels it as well. I know I have to keep it together for him and my dad. everything is all new to us we went from having our own house to having to give it up and move in with my father. I feel so overwhelmed at times and looking into help for myself as well. I will look into the free book player and local resources thank you again.

Neva fairchild- Yes, we have been in contact with a local vocational rehabilitation center, and been talking with my dad to try and get him to talk to someone and get resources that can help, its been a task in itself but hopefully he will feel the need to do so soon. We have talked about braille he didn't rule it out as an option, and white cane i will look into as well. NFB newsline he will love this!! thank you again . I will keep your e-mail address handy and be in contact, i appreciate all the support and will continue to do everything I can to help my dad get through and feel like himself again.
thank you

Re: New to blindness

Getting your dad hooked up with local vocational rehabilitation services is important so that he can begin to learn the skills he needs to regain his independence. Learning to use a long white cane so he can go out of the house and walk safely even in unfamiliar environments is essential. He may think that using a long white cane is a stigma, but in reality it is a symbol of freedom. He may someday choose to trade in his cane for a guide dog, but in the beginning learning to move from point A to point B safely and confidently with a cane is as important as eating and breathing for a person who has fluctuating vision. Learning other skills non-visually will be a part of the training your state agency will offer. Braille can be a useful tool for playing games, making lists and marking items that feel the same like different kinds of soup. Even if he doesn't want to learn enough braille to read a book, just learning the letters of the alphabet can be a huge help. NFB Newsline is a way for him to begin reading the newspaper again by listening to it on the telephone and it is a free service at for those with print disabilities. I hope this is helpful and am happy to talk with you about other options for your dad in my role as National Independent Living Associate for AFB. You can reach me at the Center on Vision Loss at or by phone at 214-438-5316.

Re: New to blindness

Hi, GinaH217, I am sorry, I just saw this!

Let me get you started a little bit.

First, VisionAware is loaded with info for people who are "beginners" to vision loss like you.

Second, let' see, where to start. Thank you for being a caring and concerned daughter! This is so, so, important. He must be frustrated, and you must be, too.

Things to help with some of the things he likes: there are a number of ways to go. You can get a free book player and free books from the National Library Service, so definitely start with that. You can contact your local cooperating library, and they'll fill out the application and get you the player and books. It's well worth it. Then, you should definitely find out about services in your area. There may be lots of services and recreational activities that will help your father get out, meet other people in a similar situation, and get to see products and solutions. You don't say where you are, but here's a link to the Directory of Services. Put in your state for starters and see what is in your general area. You can find your local cooperating library that way, too.

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