The Super Bowl is often the most-watched television program of the year. That means over a million visually impaired Americans may be tuning in. So don’t be surprised to find that your legally blind friend has plans to “watch the game.” Feel free to invite them over to join you and your buddies for the event. These easy ideas will help you keep the space and the party atmosphere accessible.
Be Mindful of Environmental Obstacles
Before your friends come over, clean up. And I don’t just mean scrub the toilets. (Though that’s a good idea, too.) Focus on clearing environmental obstacles from your guests’ path.
If people take off their shoes in your home, make a space for them away from the door. Look for rugs that may have turned up corners or electronics that have hazardous placed cords. See if there is a clear path to all of the things you would expect your guest to access, such as the bathroom, seating, and food.
If you have pets that jump up or get underfoot, you should probably put them in a different room until everyone is gone, especially if there’s an added possibility that they might try to swipe the snacks.
Describe The Food Before Everyone Digs In
To help your visually impaired friend feel comfortable at the buffet, give a little overview of the food before everyone starts helping themselves.
Describe both the location and ingredients of the food. Most people will appreciate this. No one wants to play a guessing game with what they put on their plate. You can say, “The hot wings are on the first plate to the left, and the mild wings are behind them.” Some people also have food allergies or dietary restrictions, so announcing ingredients up-front can break the ice for them to inquire about the specifics.
Using high contrast or bold colored plates can also help those with limited vision see a delineation between dishes. You can even go as far as making the visual cues match the culinary theme. In the case of the hot wings, maybe the extra spicy should go on a red plate while the mild go on a cooler-color serving dish.
Narrate More Than Just The Game
The Super Bowl should provide a pretty good play-by-play, thanks to their professional sports commentators. But the game isn’t the only reason your visually impaired friend came to your party. Socialization is the majority of the fun.
While you don’t need to go overboard in your descriptions, do consider saying things out loud more than you usually would. For example, if everyone is captivated by a friend’s new phone, don’t just ooh and ahh with no clear verbal explanation. Make sure you state what you are all looking at. “Wow, Mike, your new iPhone looks really sleek,” is a lot more descriptive than, “Ooh. Cool.”
And don’t forget to make introductions among those who don’t know each other. Having the guests all say hello will give your friend a chance to hear everyone’s voice and pair it with a name.
It’s not hard to make your Super Bowl party enjoyable for everyone. The big game day is not really about what we see on the television screen, but what we experience with our friends and family.
Afraid the party will be so hoppin’ that it will be hard to hear the game? Check out ILA’s TV SoundBox Wireless Speaker. Keep it close to your chair or take it with you anywhere in the home. Or if folks are making so much noise chatting that you still can’t hear the game, plug a pair of your own headphones into the SoundBox, and listen in peace. When you rely on your ears, it helps ensure you won’t miss a thing.