2023 Gift Guide for Blind and Visually Impaired People

Can you hear the sleigh bells jingling? It’s time to embrace the spirit of gift giving as we step into this holiday season. Here are 12 stocking stuffers and gift ideas for friends and loved ones who are blind or visually impaired.

1. Custom Gifts

If you are good friends, or it’s for someone you know very well, think of a simple, but unique item that would truly put a smile on their face. What are their interests, crafts, music, food, pets, sports? How about an ornament or keepsake with their name, cherished quote, or inside joke.

One thing to keep in mind when giving custom gifts to someone who’s blind or partially sighted, remember that they would appreciate something they could see or feel. If your gift is for someone who has low vision, make sure that the picture is clear, and the writing will be easy for them to read. Opt for large print with an easy-to-read font and high contrast colors.

When you’re giving to someone who’s totally blind, make sure that the gift isn’t something just visually appealing, but something that’s also tactile. For example, instead of a keychain with a picture of their favorite dog, it could be a keychain with that shape. If you can’t find a way to Braille something for a someone who’s Braille reader, you can have a single character or image engraved or embossed.

Sky blue cup on a white saucer filled with hot chocolate and topped with swirly whipped cream. Next to it is a candy cane and in the background is a Christmas tree and lights.

2. Traditional Treats

You can’t go wrong with traditional festive treats. Candy canes, gingerbread men, assorted chocolates, and all varieties of holiday cookies will delight.

Elevate these traditional treats with some extra thoughtful touches. If possible, find out what their preferences are beforehand. You can also take the time to label the goodies with Braille or large print. And whenever you’re dealing with food, be aware of allergies.

3. Tasty and “Tealightful”

Cozy beverages like teas, hot chocolates, and coffees would go well with delicious traditional sweets. It’s a wonderful treat to pull out a cherished favorite or try out new flavors all through the holiday season.

4. Sweet Scents

Whether it’s a peppermint scented candle for the Christmas season, or personal care products with their favorite scents, aroma therapy is wonderful. Everyone can always use pleasant smelling hand sanitizers and lotions to take along on the go. Soaps, bath products and essential oils are likewise pleasant stocking fillers.

For these gifts, it helps to know what kinds of scents they enjoy. Also, there are a few things to be mindful of with such gifts for someone who’s visually impaired. You may want to select more subtle scents. People with vision impairments rely on all their other senses and they may be sensitive to overpowering aromas.

Additionally, only give candles to someone who will be confident with them. Candles can be difficult to light or may pose a safety hazard for some people. If you know someone with sight loss that loves candles and can manage without a second thought, by all means, scented candles are warm and cozy gifts.

Essential oils are a great alternative to candles. They come in a wide variety and are versatile. You can mix them with Coconut oil and applied for skin and hair treatments, or as something that can be very relaxing. They can also be used with diffusers which can easily be turned on and off with buttons, unlike candles.

A brightly lit head lamp.5. Merry & Bright

A handheld flashlight or handsfree headlamp would be a great stocking filler for someone who is visually impaired. Portable lights are useful for tasks that require extra lighting, for example sewing. They can also be very useful for someone who struggles at night or in dimly lit environments. It’s always great to have a couple of extra flashlights ready and available.

6. A Touching Gift

Tactile identifiers and markers are useful tools to include as stocking stuffers for people who have low vision or are blind. Bump dots come in different styles and sizes and can stick to buttons and appliances. They make it easier for someone with vision impairment to identify, for example, where the “Start” button is on their microwave. It’s convenient to always have them on hand for when there’s something new or when old ones lose their adhesive over time.

There are various kinds of markers to help someone who’s blind identify and match their clothing. Pocket Money Brailler for marking cash could also be very helpful. Find out what’s available from your local low vision center, enquire from your Services for the Blind, or search online for various tactile markers.

7. A Gift That Really Speaks

Small talking gadgets like a talking keychain watch or talking thermometers are helpful tools to include as stocking stuffers or gifts. A talking cooking thermometer is so useful for someone who relies on timing and temperature instead of how the food appears. Check out your local low vision center or go online to find nifty talking tools that come in so handy.

8.Fun in All Dimensions

For those who are sighted, the Rubix Cube is an iconic toy for party favor bags and holiday stockings. Did you know that there are tactile cubes and various 3D puzzles for those who rely on their sense of touch? Brain teasers and fidget toys are fun gifts for both puzzle lovers and creative minds.

9. Deck the Cards with Braille and Large Print

In addition to 3D puzzles, playing cards are accessible stocking fillers for a friend or a loved one who’s blind or partially sighted. This holiday season, why not create new memories with a family game of Uno, Crazy 8s, and Rummy?

Knitted winter hates on a pile. There's grey, tan, hot pink, and heather. 10. Made with Love

Are you an artist or a crafter? Do you know someone who is? Whether it’s from you, or something you’ve commissioned from a friend, homemade gifts may just be the perfect something for your friend or loved one. A knitted beanie, a crocheted scarf, and handmade jewelry; what better way to make someone feel loved with something especially crafted for them. With these types of items, just be mindful of the guidelines we’ve specified. Gifts will be much appreciated when you’ve made an effort for them to be accessible. Make sure they are visible or tactile.

11. Thoughtful Tokens

Gift cards and subscriptions are awesome stocking fillers or big gifts for someone with sight loss. Gift cards for shops and restaurants would be great if they can be redeemed online. It may be easier for someone using a screen reader or magnification to access the online shop or order food, rather than struggling to get transportation to an actual place.

Subscriptions for treats or beverages like tea, coffee, and wine, would be most excellent as they are delivered to their door. Just be sure that their online shop or app is accessible for someone who’s using magnification or a screen reader. Some companies require patrons to create accounts for monthly selections.

In the same way, this rule also applies for digital content, like streaming services, podcasts, and audiobooks. You want to make sure that the digital content is accessible to your friend or loved one.

12. A Present for All Seasons

If you’re really looking for something completely accessible for your loved one, why not a RealSAM Pocket for Christmas? RealSAM Pockets are fully voice operated for anyone who’s struggling to use a conventional smartphone. The simple, “tap to talk” button allows them to make calls, manage contacts, and send messages by voice. With this gift they’ll be able to stay in touch all year round.

What’s more, with Pocket, they’ll also be able to stay connected with access to unlimited streaming for no additional subscription. Learn more about Pocket’s amazing accessibility by scheduling a demonstration or by visiting our Pocket’s page.

RealSAM Pocket on the left and "Give your friend or loved one the gift of being connected & independent" on the right. The RealSAM logo on the bottom. Everything is on a red Christmas background with a ribbon on top.

It’s the Thought that Counts

These are 12 ideas with tips and advice for giving amazing stocking fillers and gifts this Christmas. If you find these suggestions helpful, be sure to share. But remember, it’s the thought that really counts and your friends and loved ones will just love the fact that you thought of them.

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