Making Adjustments

8 Things To Do While Distancing

Apr 14, 2020

8 Things To Do While Distancing

The COVID-19 crisis has taken great liberties with life as we know it. Those of us living with vision loss are all too familiar with the prevailing desire to get back to some semblance of normal. That feeling is now shared by everyone. Social distancing for the time being is a good thing, but it is definitely not an easy task. Our best advice is to take it one day at a time. Do something constructive each day to use the time-out productively.

1. Listen to a Podcast.

Invest some time in catching up with a favorite podcast, or binge-listening to a new find. If you haven’t yet taken to podcasts, the time is now. Search for your favorite publications, personalities or topics on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or simply Google a key word + podcast to find some that will be of interest.

Here are the links to a few of our favorite podcasts for people living with vision loss:

OE Patients Podcast

Eyes On Success Podcast

Hadley Presents Podcast


Image of Alexa app screen showing list of featured and new books.

Image of Alexa app screen showing list of featured and new books.

2. Read an Audiobook.

Getting totally absorbed in a great book that takes you to another time and place is the best way to take a break from reality.  Choose an epic story that will command your attention for a while like Anna Karenina, East Of Eden or Lord Of The Rings.  You can also browse Audible’s Best Sellers.

Get Back the Joy of Reading with NLS

Alexa, Read My Book

3. Place a Call.

Video calls, like FaceTime, are a natural solution for socializing while social distancing. The pandemic has given new life to the voice-only call, which has been going out of fashion for years. It makes complete sense to use FaceTime because, in many ways, it’s as close as we can connect for the time being. Seeing the face or hearing the voice of a loved one or an old friend lends a degree of comfort to an otherwise insecure atmosphere.  So go ahead, pick up the phone and call someone you care about – chances are you’ll find them at home.

4. Get Your Accessibility Settings In Order.

Take this time to review and update text settings, screen magnification and brightness and color contrast. And don’t hesitate to call on live expert help! Use these if you run into trouble:

Accessibility Support Phone Lines You Should Know   

5. Give Speech a Chance.

When reading with a visual impairment becomes arduous, it’s time to give your phone or tablet permission to speak. The move from seeing to hearing written words may take some getting used to, so approach it as if you are learning to read anew.

The Freedom of Speech

Let Voice Over Do the Reading

Image of man talking into smartphone on speaker.

Image of man talking into smartphone on speaker.

6. Put Your Voice Assistant to Work.

There are thousands of ways your voice assistant can make things easier. For instance, ask Google to play a podcast, ask Alexa to read your book, or ask Siri to FaceTime a friend.  Take a moment to try out more ways these virtual assistants can help make your life easier:

Here’s What Siri, Google & Alexa Can Do

Podcast: Siri, Google & Alexa

7. Update Your Privacy Settings.

There is no better time than now to update your privacy settings and stop giving your technology providers open access to your personal info.

Follow these steps to Protect Your Privacy Online.

8. Clean & Organize.

Cleaning up and organizing is a very cathartic process. Getting rid of clutter feels like a load is lifted off you and actually helps clear your head.

Here’s a guide to help you Get Clean & Organized.

For comments, questions or feedback, email us, or connect on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you!

About the Author: Dorrie Rush

Dorrie Rush is the Chief Content Officer and Visual Accessibility Expert at Ophthalmic Edge Patients (OE Patients), an online resource, presented by the Association for Macular Diseases, providing practical information and empowering advice for living a full and successful life with vision loss.

She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.



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