Jan 24, 2011

Crafting with a Disability

For people living with a disability, sometimes everyday things that we take for granted, can be difficult or nearly impossible. Thankfully, many people are out there with their thinking caps on, coming up with ideas to overcome the obstacles that people face.

My mother-in-law is a mad keen crafter and has always had two or three projects going as long as I have known her. Unfortunately due to Macular Degeneration  she is going blind. Although she has overcome some  other disabilities and obstacles, it is this one that has stood in the way the most for her when it comes to crafting.

The lady from the Blind Association visited her recently and told her of a couple of items which may make her life easier, which I thought I would share.

Self threading needles for your sewing machine. These needles have a small slit in them, so you just need to run your thread along the side and presto it is threaded. (A little like the magic rings in principle). They are labelled as "Handicap" needles and should be available wherever you buy needles or online.

Lighted Knitting Needles - these were originally sold as a bit of a gimmick. So you could knit in the dark, say at the pictures while waiting for the promotional ads to finish or in low lighting.
However, for sight impaired people, they could provide the extra help they need to see exactly where the needle is going. The level of help you got from these would depend upon your particular condition. But would be useful in some cases. I have seen they are available on eBay and Amazon under the name Knit Lite. There seems to be crochet hooks, as well as small lights that fit to existing crafting tools.

I would be interested if anyone has other sources of ideas that I could pass on to my mother-in-law. As she derives much enjoyment from her crafting and it would be a shame if she was no longer able.

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