Super Bowl Sunday is here! Time to break out the solo cups, hot wings, and foam fingers to cheer on your favorite team. Do you have someone with a visual impairment coming over this year to watch the big game? If you do here are some tips to help make your home more accessible and comfortable.
1.Describe your home.
Some simple orientation will help your guest feel at home. Phrases such as “the living room has a couch on the left with a coffee table in front of it,” or “the bathroom is to your right,” can be helpful. Eliminate any random obstacles that might pose a tripping hazard.
Gif description: Marge Simpson holding Maggie asking Apu “Where’s your bathroom?”
2. Describe the food.
If you are serving food and beverages, tell your blind guest what’s on the tray or in the cooler. Also, offer to help fill a plate or refresh a drink.
Gif description: Winnie the Pooh tying a napkin around his neck.
3. Use “see” verbs freely.
You won’t offend a blind person if you use visual verbs such as “did you see that,” or “you see what I mean” or “we can watch that later.” People who are blind use these words too.
Gif description: Benedict Cumberbatch saying “Did you see that? Did everyone see that??”
4. Keep the floor clear.
Before your guest arrives, clear your floor of objects like shoes, toys, or books so your guest can navigate more easily.
Gif description: Mrs. Doubtfire vacuuming the floor and dancing.
5. Introduce pets.
If you have a pet, let your guest know in case they have any allergies or issues. When they arrive, introduce your pet(s) so that your guest can become comfortable.
Gif description: Man in dog costume spray painting “Sup” on the wall.
6. Provide visual updates.
Try to be conscious of what you and your other guests are seeing, and offer to describe what’s happening. If you’re admiring a friend’s new watch, describe the color and style. If a new plate of food is set out, or guests are arriving, talk about what’s going on.
Gif description: Oprah saying “What is going on?”
7. Guide your kids.
If you have young children, discuss how to interact with your blind guests. Let them know if a guide dog will be coming and not to interrupt the service work of the animal by petting or playing with it.
Gif description: Merida from Brave saying “Ugh..Mom!”