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Topic: Hobbies/volunteer opportinuties for the blind

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Subject: Hobbies/volunteer opportinuties for the blind
Date Posted: 2/21/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2006
Posts: 203
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I am looking for activities for my Grandfather.  He has macular degeneration and it has progressed to the point where he is basically blind.  He has been active and happy in retirement for many years, but all of his hobbies rely on his eyesight.  He is in his middle 80's, but in perfect mental and physical shape other than his sight.

Grandpa hates to travel, and he and my Grandmother have always spent a lot of their leisure/hobby time apart.  She is doing great, and I give her computer and internet lessons every week for fun.  We're both worried for him

Grandpa has been a car and motercycle racer, worked with leather, made pottery and jewelry, volunteered to support veterans and Native rights...  Most of all he loved to read.  He has a machine that greatly magnifies and lights reading material, and he can use it to read black text on a bright white background very slowly, but its a huge effort and isn't much fun.  So far he has resisted books on tape for reasons that I don't understand.


He has been increasingly depressed lately and withdrawn from most of his friends.  Do you folks have any sugesstions for hobbies or activitites I could get him interested in?  I would truly appreciate any input :D  Thank you.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 609
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I have an 8 year old daughter who is totally blind and I know there is a huge age difference, but he still should be able to do many of the things he once did, besides the driving. 

Pottery making is extremely adapatable for the blind as well as other arts and crafts.  He may not want to do books on tape, but perhaps you have family members that can take the time to tape some books for him so he can hear their voices. 

Hadley school for the blind offers free classes for those w/ visual impairments..including how to listen to birds..or something like that..

If you are still around I'd be happy to give you more ideas


Date Posted: 8/11/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 86
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I am sighted and proofread scanned books on a volunteer basis for bookshare.org a non-profit library for the blind and disabled. Many blind members also proofread books there and receive credit for each one to put towards their membership to the library.

As I'm not blind I donate my earnings towards others' memberships. If he would be open to learning to use a reader, something like a kindle for those who aren't familiar with them, that may an excellent way for him to have free access to thousands of books. It may be worth a look at the website. My best to you.

Date Posted: 3/19/2010 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2005
Posts: 1,038
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check the commission for the blind. they have audio books/cd's for people to listen to. my nana used to listen to them.