When it comes to parenting as a blind person, some great tools, products, and resources can make all the difference. Check out some of my favorite recommendations below of things I’ve found to be accessible, affordable, and practicle in making everyday life easier. Keep in mind that this is a fluid list and not designed to be a comprehensive list of blindness resources. (Links are also included for some of the items . )
- Sit n’ Stroll Car seat-car seat with retractable wheels and handles. Doubles as a stroller on good terrain and indoors. Not good for rough sidewalk. This was awesome and I used it for about six years until the wheel broke off. They also quadrupled in price since I bought mine. It was a really helpful tool. Sadly, I learned recently that it does not do well in meeting safety regulations anymore. It can only be installed forward-facing with a shoulder strap (no LATCH system.) Easy to install when you’re in and out of a lot of vehicles though.
- Grecko Extend to Fit Car seat great convertible car seat that works well with the Travel mate. It’s heavy, so lugging it around without some kind of small wagon is a bit of a chore, so if you use it, be aware of the weight. But, it fits nicely onto the Travel Mate, for example, and doubles as a great stroller for smooth terrain and indoor travel. Easy to install in rear or forward facing ways with the car seatbelt or LATCH system. Has really great safety reviews too and will last your child for a few years so you won’t have to worry about buying multiple car seats.
- Bubble Bum-This is an inflatable booster seat that is very lightweight and can fold up to be put in a backpack. Also comes with a carrying pack. It has good safety reviews and is great for someone who has to carry carseats around. They are pretty reasonably priced too.
- Go Go Babiez Travel Mate -this is a small wagon base that works with most commercial car seats. It has a retractable handel and once a car seat is strapped onto it, it allows you to use the car seat like a stroller. It pulls really easy and is light weight. You can fold down the handle to store it and it will fit easily in a back seat on the floor under your child’s seat or in the trunk of a car without taking up much space. The straps to sinch the car seat in place can be a bit cumbersome , but once you get the hang of it, strapping the car seat on won’t take too long. These are also reasonably priced and worth it if you have to carry car seats.
- Bjourn Baby Carrier -baby carriers are a must for a blind parent who wants to be able to travel with a cane. There are so many benefits to “baby wearing” and I’m a huge fan of the practice. The Baby Bjourn was the first one I tried and it was very easy to place my baby inside and fasten. This model however is only for carrying your child in front of you and facing you. I moved to the Ergo after my children were older and able to face outward or ride on my back. There are a variety of styels of Bjourns, and frankly, a lot of baby carrying devices. You can’t go wrong. Just find something that fits your style, needs, and is easy for you to take on and off and take your child in and out of.
- Ergo Baby Carrier Love this! It was a pricy product, but well worth the investment. I bought mine when my first child was about forteenn months old . I’ve used it for all three children, and use it regularly so it’s taken a lot of ware. Mine is now seven years old and is getting a little faded and worn, but still in great shape. . It allows you to carry your child on your back up until they are about 40 lbs, so in my case, about three years old.
- Baby monitor-you’ll want to find one that is two-way and does not have a visual display or flat screne, but tactile buttons so you can operate it. We used this model.
- Instant Pot with blue tooth -allows you to operate it from your phone . You can access all the settings too.
- Honeywell Thermostat with WiFi -allows you to control your thermostat with your phone , including programming it.
- Echo Dot -so many uses! Radio, news, access to audio books, controls the thermostat, controls appliances, etc. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one.
- Apple T.V. -has built in voice over which allows you to access all the menus and apps. You can also enable audio description so if you watch a show on Netflix or a movie with an audio descriptive track, the DVS will automatically come on
- Xfinity V1 Platform Accessible Cable Box -this takes a particular cable package but is so worth it if you want to be able to access the menus and additional features (i.e., Netflix, OnDemand, etc.) with your television.
Transportation Services and Apps
- Mega Bus
- Bolt Bus
- Next Bus app-It uses GPS to locate the nearest bus stop to your location and shows you bus times in real time. works in Multiple cities too and does not require a subscription.
Delivery and Other Services
- Instant Cart
- Target online shopping and Shipt
- Amazon Prime
- Post It
- Walmart Grocery Pick up
- Safeway Grocery Delivery
- Seeing Ai app
- KNFB Reader app
- Kurzweil Scanning Software
- Zoom Text
- Discriptive Video Services
- Seedlings Braille Books
- American Action Fund Books
- National Braille Press
- American Foundation for the Blind
- National Federation of the Blind
- Micro scooters
- Balls with bells -We have a basket ball and soccer ball which allows us to play easier with our kids.
- Adapted board and card games
- Disney Now App-very accessible with voice over and allows you to check wait times on lines, read menus, get Fast Passes, and more when you visit Walt Disney World. Check out my posts on traveling to Disney World here.
- Sensational Blackboard (See my post on helping your children with homework here )
- Saxon Math Manipulatives
- Small Jingle Bells-
- Bell Bracelets-
- Long White Carbon Fiber Cane -I prefer a straight style cane as they are more durable (the ends don’t close up on you like a telescoping one when you’re walking down stairs, etc.) They are thin, light weight and I like the metal tip.
- Cane tips
- Baby Monitor:
- Small Craft jingle bells
- Bell ankle bracelets
- Baby animal backpacks
- Bump dot stickers -I use these to label appliances like the microwave and stove.