“How do blind people use the bathroom?”
“Hey, how do people with low vision take a shower?”
“Wait, do blind people use the bathroom?”
It’s not just little kids who ask these questions. I have had teachers, friends, random adults, and even college suitemates that I share a bathroom with ask if I am capable of using the bathroom on my own, or if I even use the bathroom. Yes, just like sighted people, those with low vision and blindness are capable of using a bathroom independently. Assistive technology may help make the experience easier for people. Here are some examples of assistive technology products I use to help me look and feel my best.
This is one of the main tools that helps blind people in the bathroom. It’s also great for people who can’t see without their glasses. I put these on bottles in the shower so that way I can distinguish which bottle is which. These are hard adhesive plastic dots that I got a sheet of for about $4 from Maxi-Aids via Amazon.
2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner
Speaking of bottles, I was always having trouble putting too much conditioner in my hair. It would look awful. By having the two pre-mixed together, I don’t have to worry about putting too much conditioner in my shoulder-length hair. I use Garnier Fructis and it can be purchased at almost any store that sells shampoo.
Okay, this might seem like an impulse purchase, but it helps me a lot. I have trouble massaging shampoo into my hair, so I decided to try this plastic hair/scalp massager. My hair instantly looked much better, and I felt great after getting out of the shower.
I live in a handicap-accessible dorm where we have built in metal support rails in the shower. However, portable railings with suction cups can easily be purchased, so users can easily stabilize themselves and have a point of reference in the shower as to where to stand or where objects are located, such as the faucet.
Often marketed towards little kids, these plastic devices hook up to a toothpaste tube and allow for someone to use one hand and push their toothbrush against the plastic slot and have the perfect amount of toothpaste dispensed. These can be found for about $7 on Amazon.
Three sided toothbrush
These were amazing when I started having neck problems and had trouble brushing my teeth. They have toothbrush heads on the front and sides of the brush so the entire tooth can be brushed at once without having to move the head or neck. It is also to use if you have to brush someone else’s teeth. I got a pack of three for $8 from Maxi-Aids.
Full review coming soon, but I’ve been using the Quip over the last year and it has been my favorite toothbrush I have ever used. It’s small in size and easily fits in my hand. In addition, it is easy to switch out brush heads and easy to operate- it even has a built in timer.
All of these tools help me in my day-to-day life, and I find them to be incredibly helpful. So next time someone asks how blind people use the bathroom or how people with bad eyesight take a shower, recommend one of these products to them!