By Susan Thompson

Listen to the audio

Those of you who have attended conventions in recent years will know that some of the most popular sessions have been those offering tips and tricks for living, where people share their own solutions to the everyday challenges we all face as people who are blind or vision impaired. More recently the sessions have been titled “Life Hacks” to give them a more modern image.

Many of these segments have been recorded and are in our audio archives. They have also been available online and we are now going to bring them to more of our members, through a regular feature in Blind Citizens News.

Whether we are totally blind, have some useful vision, or are parents with vision impaired children striving to be independent, we all face challenges living with vision impairment which the power of peer support can lessen. By drawing on the experience of three generations of our community, we hope to create, over time, a valuable toolkit for tackling the problems which sighted people overcome without thought.

Whether it is labelling or mowing the lawn, putting on makeup or changing a baby’s nappy, travelling overseas or dealing with those pesky situations where well-meaning people are less than helpful, we want to gather our collective wisdom for all to learn and benefit from.

How will it work?

You submit questions about daily tasks in which you’d like some advice, by emailing with the subject line of “Question for Life Hacks”. Likewise, those with great tips to share can send an email to the same address with the subject line “Tip for Life Hacks”.

Each issue of Blind Citizens News will feature highlights of the questions and answers we have received. We’ll also let you know how you can look at those ideas which didn’t feature.

No question is too trivial, and no tip too menial. Whether your tip is a manual solution, a way of organizing, a gadget or a high-tech solution, if it works for you, it is worth sharing. To get things started, here’s a tip from yours truly:

How can I peel potatoes and sweet potatoes without leaving some of the skin?

Contrary to conventional practice, don’t wash the potatoes first. This way there is a more distinct difference in texture between the peeled and unpeeled potato. Then peel with a common vegetable/potato peeler, going around in a top to bottom approach, rather than a circular approach. This way you can avoid peeling off too much of the vegetable, because you can reposition the peeler with each stroke. After you have gone all the way round, you can easily find the missed unpeeled spots, which feel dirty in contrast.

We look forward to receiving your questions and tips for the next edition of Blind Citizens News.

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