Department for the Blind's
Independent Living Program
Teachers -- Who are they and what do they do?
Techniques to assist in everyday activities
3. Upcoming events.
Rehabilitation teachers travel throughout the state to provide
comprehensive services to Iowans with vision loss. The teachers meet with individuals wherever
they may live to provide information on services available through the Iowa
Department for the Blind, community resources, training in the alternative
techniques of blindness, or to offer suggestions to assist with everyday
activities. When initially meeting with someone,
the rehabilitation teacher visits with that
person to learn more about the daily activities
that have become difficult due to vision loss. The teacher then works with the
person to address these areas.
This may include, but is not limited to:
Alternative methods for threading
Techniques for safe cooking.
Leisure activities such as crocheting and quilting.
methods for labeling canned goods (large print, tactile markings, Braille,
Assisting with signing up for
books on tape available free of charge through the Regional Library for
the Blind and Physically Handicapped (housed at the Iowa Department for
the Blind's Des Moines Office).
Completing applications for newspaper reading programs provided free of
Marking appliances (oven dials, thermostats, microwaves, etc.) so they can
be set by touch.
The Iowa Department for the Blind's approach to blindness is unique in that it
promotes a positive attitude toward blindness. If individuals
are given training in the skills of blindness and the
opportunity to use those skills, there are very few things
do. It is our goal to help individuals
struggling with vision loss realize this and
to assist them with
obtaining the opportunity and skills to be as independent as they choose to
be. We have found that our many years
of success are due to this positive approach to blindness. For the
rehabilitation teacher in your area, call 800-362-2587.
How can I tell the difference between my shampoo and
There are several options for this. One option would
be to place a rubber band around one of the bottles to distinguish it
from the other that doesn't have a rubber band. Other options include
placing items in different sized or shaped bottles so you can feel a
difference, placing bottles in different locations within your shower, or
distinguishing one bottle from another by smell.
Q: How can I identify canned goods if I can't read the
A: One option is to use a 3x5 card labeled with Braille,
large print, or fabric paint.
Q: At the store, I have to hold out a handful of change for
the clerk to take what is
needed. Is there a way to avoid having to do this?
A: Yes. Coins can be distinguished from each other by their
size. You can also drag
your fingernail around the edge of the coins. A
quarter and dime have ridges while a nickel and penny are smooth.
Q: How do I tell when a potato is peeled?
A: Prior to peeling your potato, run it under water to
moisten it. As you peel, it will feel smooth where the skin has been removed
and rough where skin remains.
Q: How can I measure my vanilla for baking a cake?
A: Use metal measuring spoons that have been bent to form a
ladle. Pour the vanilla into a larger mouthed container (i.e. baby food
jar), dip the spoon into the vanilla and lift it straight up. Your vanilla
has now been measured.
Q: How can I tell my black slacks from my navy slacks?
A: Place a safety pin in the hem of your black slacks and
not in your navy slacks. The safety pin will hold up when laundered and
allows for easy identification. You may also use Braille labels,
Teflon Dymo tape, or other tactile devices.
Q: How can I thread a needle if I can't see?
A: There are several options which include: easy threading
needles, a needle threader, and floss threaders. There are pros and
cons to each technique so it is best to try them all to figure out
which one you prefer.
June 1 and 15
Indianola Sightly Impaired support group
June 7, 8, and 9
8, and 9
Des Moines area Mini-Orientation
Fairfield Informational Meeting
1:00 - 3:00 PM
Logan Apartments, 404 S. 4th St., Fairfield
28, 29, and
Des Moines area
July 6 and 7
July 19 and 20
July 26, 27, and 28
Sioux City area Mini-Orientation
August 29 - September 2
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INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAM NEWSLETTER is published by the Iowa Department for
the Blind. Please direct questions and suggestions to the Iowa Department for
the Blind, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-2364, 515-281-1333.