In 2010-2011, my husband and I faced a huge decision about the future of our family. As I turned 35, I became aware that my biological clock was ticking and I had very little time to decide if I was to have children. Because we were both blind, the decision of having children was something we put off due to the sheer logistics of the endeavor. The concerns that had to be faced included health concerns, financial, and practical issues. Yet, despite the many factors that made this undertaking seem impossible, my husband and I could not let go of the yearning for something more and the desire to go for the dream I had dreamed since I was a little girl. We decided to face our fears and we stepped off the cliff of life and entered this crazy phase of life we call “parenthood.” The rewards of parenting have far outweighed the challenges, and it all began with us deciding to act even though we were afraid.
For persons who are newly blind and visually impaired, there is often an inner struggle and overwhelming sense of boredom as they come to a belief that their active lifestyle has grinded to a halt after the vision loss. With the thoughtful application of some simple principles and activities, however, it is possible for a newly blind person to once again realize the many benefits of an active lifestyle.
In this entry, we examine the role of fun and vitality in the rehabilitation of persons with vision loss including social and psychological benefits of fun and recreation, how to discover what is fun for each individual, and examples of recreation for persons who are blind and visually impaired. Nancy Parkin Bashizi, director at Vision Rehabilitation Services (VRS) in Smyrna, Georgia, provides useful information about the impact of these types of activities on social and psychological well-being and presents a variety of adaptive activities and a list of resources for the blind and visually impaired. Continue reading “Fun and Vitality for the Newly Blind and Visually Impaired”