You don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to find a blindness-specific gift for the blind or visually impaired person in your life. You can pretty much give blind people anything you would give a sighted person as long as it can be appreciated without vision. Blind people appreciate Amazon gift cards as much as the next person. However, the following list contains some suggestions for super special gifts that you might want to give the blind person in your life.
1. Adapted games. You can find accessible versions of most mainstream games like Uno, Chess, and Monopoly. Accessible games can be an excellent gift, especially for younger blind children, because it allows them to participate fully in game time with family and friends.
2. Apple devices. If you’re looking for something at a higher price point, Apple devices can help the blind person in your life be successful and independent in many aspects of life. All Apple devices are completely accessible due to a built-in screen reader called Voiceover. If you’re buying for a younger child, the iPod Touch can be a good starting point. The iPad is useful for blind people of all ages, and the iPhone is extremely beneficial for older blind children and adults. The Apple Watch is also an excellent gift for blind people who already have an iPhone and want to track their fitness goals and other health related information.
3. Headphones. Blind people can never have enough headphones. Apple’s AirPods are a good multipurpose option for most blind people who use iPhone’s and/or other Apple products. They have good audio quality but don’t block so much sound that they interfeer with the blind person’s ability to hear their surroundings. Bone conduction headphones are excellent for blind people who spend a lot of time traveling independently and need a good way to hear their phone while also listening to traffic. AfterShokz is a good brand that works well with Voiceover. You might also consider getting them something from the Beats line as all of the Beats headphones work very well with Voiceover. However, Beats headphones are meant to be used for music and audio books and will not be suitable for navigation or completing basic tasks with technology. Try to avoid buying bluetooth headphones that are not Apple branded in some way as many off-brand bluetooth headphones do not play nice with Voiceover and other screen readers. Cheap wired earbuds are also always useful.
4. Mighty Mug. The Mighty Mug looks like a normal travel mug but has a suction cup on the bottom to prevent it from falling over. Once it is placed on a table, it can’t be knocked over; it has to be lifted straight up. This is an excellent gift for anyone who works around a lot of technology and likes having a drink close at hand.
5. Smart home devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod. The Amazon Echo will have the most integrations with services and other smart home devices. The Google Home is very similar to the Echo but slightly better at certain skills. The Apple HomePod has the best audio quality but the fewest integrations with other services.
6. Braille jewelry. There are many online shops that sell customizable braille jewelry. This can be a super special gift for the blind person in your life.
7. Way Tags. Way Tags are labels that can be read with an app using Voiceover. Once you’ve written text to the tag, you can have Voiceover read the label by tapping the tag with the top of the phone while the app is open. The tags come in many different styles like buttons for clothing, clips, magnets, and stickers, and they can be used in many different contexts.
8. Tiles and other bluetooth trackers. Tiles are small devices that can be attached to keys, canes, wallets, and other things that people lose often. You can use an app to make the devices play a sound in order to locate the lost objects, and you can ring your phone using your Tile in the event that you lose your phone.
10. Audio books. Not all blind people are readers, but many blind people love listening to audio books. Consider gifting the blind person in your life an audio book or a gift card so they can purchase their own audio book and play it on a device of their choice.