Doing laundry, putting clothes away, and get dressed can be mundane boring tasks for most but for persons with disabilities it can also be overwhelming and frustrating. Luckily there are many tips, tricks, and assistive devices that can make things more manageable and less nerve wracking. These tips are mostly for the visually impaired but can be used and/or adapted for most anyone with a disability looking for advice.
Laundry no longer has to be the chore it once was with the use of assistive technology. There are several different gadgets that can be utilized to help ensure that each piece of clothing is being washed correctly and that your colors are not mixed in with your whites (unless you want them to be).
The WayAround Starter Pack is a great tool to help with most of your laundry needs. This product works in conjunction with a smartphone app available for both iPhone and Android. Each type of tag is good for different items around the house. To label your detergent bottles and dryer sheets you can either use the WayTag Stickers (permanent) or the WayTag Clips (reusable). The WayTag Clips can be used as is or with an elastic loop that can go around cylindrical and other shaped containers. The WayTag Buttons can be attached to clothing and both their care instructions and descriptions uploaded to your smartphone to retrieve as needed. There are two types of WayTag Buttons. The 2-Hole Button can be sewn into your garment and the Oval Button can be attached to your garments with a safety pin. It’s advisable to attach the buttons at the same relative position of each piece of clothing for further ease of use.
If you do not have access to a smartphone the RNIB PenFriend Laundry Labels are another option. These labels are 1-inch square and are self-adhered (preferably to the garment label). You can record the care instructions and garment description with your own voice. A couple of things to note with these are no ironing or stitching is required, suitable for both washing machines and tumble dryers for 50+ washes, once adhered wait 7 days before washing to ensure they adhere correctly, and all labels should be used within 6 months of opening.
Putting Clothes Away
Both items mentioned under the laundry section can also be used to label clothes to assist in putting them away where they belong. There are also a few low-tech options that can be utilized in putting clean laundry away.
The Braillable Labels are little transparent hard plastic labels that have room to Braille three lines. Each non-adhesive label has a hole in each end for the black elastic band peg to push through so that the label can be stretched around whatever you are marking.
Using Thick Sock Locks you never have to worry about matching socks again. From wearing to washing, once you slip socks into the Sock Lock, they remain paired while in the washing machine, dryer and sock drawer.
These Closet Organizers fit around the hanger rods to organize your closet into any categories that make it easier and faster to find your clothes. You can use the 60 pre-indexed labels, with identifiers such as ‘sweaters’, ‘dress pants’, ‘dressy’, ‘jackets’ or write your own categories on the 3 extra labels. The dividers can also be identified using Brailled labeling tape. (To read about more tips and tricks for organizing your closet please see our blog Closet Organization Strategies for the Visually Impaired.)
Visionware offers many more tips and tricks including using an empty egg carton to organize jewelry, using Ziploc bags to organize socks and hosiery, using various things lying around the house such as shoe boxes, craft boxes, and baby food jars.
Everything mentioned thus far can also be used to help find matching and appropriate clothing to wear. If you don’t have the time, technology, or patience to use some of the ones mentioned above or need help in a different area here are a few more items that can be beneficial when it’s time to get dressed.
The Colorino Talking Color Identifier detects 150 nuances of color and distinguishes sources, intensities and locates light sources. It speaks clearly at 3 volumes and has an earphone jack. Using this tool will help ensure that you are color coordinated every time.
The Zipper Pull/ Button Loop is specifically designed to help you grab and hold those small little buttons and zipper pulls with the greatest of ease.
The Telescopic Shoe Horn can help you finish off your look by enabling you to put on your shoes easier. It gently guides your foot into your shoe from either a seated or standing position. Its compact telescopic design adjusts from 22” to 32.5”.
For more wardrobe time saving tips for the visually impaired see this article from Visionware.
Independent Living Aids, LLC has many other daily living aids, technologies, and gadgets available from their homepage at https://www.independentliving.com/