Mom and daughter smiling using a digital tablet.
Accessibility & Technology

Resolve To Do Better This Year

Jan 10, 2019

Resolve To Do Better This Year

A new year is a good opportunity to think about how you can make life a little easier and live better with vision loss. 

It really comes down to how you manage the things that matter. We never advise making lots of changes at once, but even selecting just one or two things you can improve over the course of a year, can have lasting impact on the quality of your life.

While we are indeed talking about ways we can live better with vision loss, the changes we’re suggesting are not specific to vision loss. The fact is…everybody’s doing it, and we are totally included!    

Man paying bills online with smartphone
Man paying bills online with smartphone.

Better Banking and Bill Paying

This is a change with many big, long term benefits. There is nothing extraordinary about banking and paying bills online, it is the new norm. So take the stress out of monthly check writing, checkbook balancing and envelope mailing. Going paperless is not only good for you, it’s good for the environment.

If you think this is a daunting task, take it one step at a time. The online set up is relatively uncomplicated, as long as you have your account numbers.  An even easier way to get set up is to go into your bank and they will arrange it all for you. Bring in the bills you will be paying online, and your bank will set those up as well. Take advantage of the services the bank provides, it can lessen the angst. 

Most companies also accept electronic bill paying by phone, which is a handy and efficient alternative for those who are not interested in banking online. The setup requires a checking or credit card account, and can be set up directly or with the help of customer service. 

More on this: 6 Ways To Make Bill Paying Easier On The Eyes 

Tree ripened oranges, ready for picking.
Tree ripened oranges, ready for picking.

Eat Better

Here is something we can all practice, today and every day, to positively impact the long-term health of our eyes.  It is particularly encouraging to note, the addition of several foods to your regular diet has shown to slow the progression of disease, or ward it off entirely.  

Make sure you’re getting plenty of:

  • Leafy Greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, etc. 
  • Whole Citrus Fruit has healing properties, add an orange a day (sorry juice doesn’t count)
  • Oily Fish including salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines are good for your eyes, your brain and your heart
  • Olive Oil can be used in abundance, so go ahead and dip your bread, dress your salad, and scramble your egg in it
iPad screen showing very large text.
iPad screen showing very large text.

Read Better

Reading is something that must be addressed actively with aging and with progressing degenerative eye disease. Both require a willingness to change. The goal is, always, continued access to print, and that may at some point become audible not visual. 

  • Enlarge the text for newspapers and books on a tablet or eReader
  • Switch to audiobooks
  • Get help with accessibility settings from Apple, Microsoft, by phone 
  • Try the larger screens for phones, tablets, and computers
  • Use Seeing AI for Short Text or Document reading on the go

More on reading: Get Back The Joy Of Reading With NLS

Startup Business People Working on Laptop
Man at work using inclusive technology.

Work Better

It’s a good idea to find yourself a friend in IT and get some help exploring all the possibilities your computer has to offer. An adjustment to text size, screen magnification, brightness, color or contrast, can make a night and day difference to your screen reading, and keep you working productively.  

More on this subject: Microsoft’s Inclusive Workplace

A gray Google Home Mini
A gray Google Home Mini.

Use Your Digital Assistant Better

Whether it’s Google, Alexa, or Siri, on mobile or in a speaker, your digital assistant is ready and willing to help with many tasks. Choose one and get to know it this year.  Although they are not created equal, they all have similar, basic abilities in common, so go ahead and ask:

  • Check the time, weather, calendar, dictionary
  • Play music by song, artist, album, genre 
  • Ask a question about sports, history, entertainment or trivia
  • Make a phone call
  • Set a timer, alarm, or reminder

Keep in mind, small frequent adjustments are key to changing a habit. If you want it, and commit to it, you will succeed. The gain is always greater than the pain.

Stick with us, we see a year ahead brimming with possibility!

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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