How To Remain Fashionable After Total Sight Loss

Blind And Wanting Fashion On My Terms

Question: I am a vision rehab therapist working with an individual who has recently lost all of her sight…

…She has always been very clothes and style conscious and would like to be able to stay that way. She is not a computer user and does not plan to become one, but does have an iPhone. Do you have suggestions for how someone who is blind can stay current on fashions – especially those new fashions seen in New York City, but not necessarily in the “boonies” where we live? ~Eileen B.

Thank you for your question, on behalf of your client Eileen. There’s no doubt there are some unique challenges faced by people who are, or become blind or visually impaired in just about every area of life. When it comes to how we present ourselves to the world it can be especially daunting in how information is or isn’t presented.

Based on what I can glean from your comment, it sounds like your client is new to sight loss and in the short-term wants solutions other than technology to stay in the know. Following are a few things she might consider:

  1. Shopping with close friends or relatives who are familiar with her style
  2. Consultants will develop an in-depth personal profile to suit the individual needs of their  client
    • Personal Shopper/Styling Service
    • Beauty Consultant
    • Image Consultant
  3. Shop or sales assistants can help her choose outfits based on her input. It might be a good idea to call ahead first to make sure the store will have staff on duty to help.
  4. QVC does a remarkable job in describing the products they sell. Following is a small sampling of their fashion segments
    • Morning Q Live – Style Edition
    • Amy’s Closet (Amy Stran)
    • Denim & Co.
    • Inspired Style® – Late Night Edition (Courtney Cason)

Hopefully, with time your client will reconsider using technology as an option to keep up with the world of fashion as this will enable her to become more independent. There are so many resources online from blogs, YouTube videos, tutorials, and subscription services, to social media groups who are leveraging these platforms to get their message out to many diverse groups of people. Technology opens up an entire world of opportunities previously unavailable to those who are blind or visually impaired.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have more questions.

Have a great weekend!

~Abby

Virtual Beauty For Blind & VI Women

Abby's Corner image is described in the body of the post.
Created by Jessica Marano

Hello My Friends,

Can you believe another week has passed? It seems like it was just yesterday we were moving into this past week.

One might think that life as a cartoon character is boring but I have to say my life pretty phenomenal. I mean, think about it, who I am, what I do and who I become is only limited by my creator’s imagination. So if the imagination is boundless there is absolutely nothing I cannot do.

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” ~Muhammad Ali

Technology has made what was once impossible possible. Take clothes shopping, for example, gone are the days where we have to go to a physical store to fulfill our retail therapy goals. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy shopping excursions with my gal pals but with such a busy schedule it can be just as convenient to shop online.

As technology continues to evolve it’s my hope that retail websites will become more inclusive from a disability standpoint. For example, many of us who are blind or visually impaired use special tools to assist us in navigating the internet however if a site is poorly designed, inaccessible or there is only minimal description these things make the buying experience less than ideal.

A dream product of mine is a “Mirror Mirror” like in Snow White. Once programmed with data needed to produce a verbal output it could help blind and visually impaired women with the ability to become as adept at makeup application as they so choose.

With adjustments to make them more accessible, virtual dressing rooms like tri Mirror or Dressing Room by Gap, can, in the long run, be beneficial to everyone. Being able to create a personalized avatar, inputting measurements, then trying on clothes, makes the tri Mirror an interesting tool but I’d love to hear input from my totally blind friends. Afterall if verbal feedback isn’t an option this will be an opportunity for us to make our mark.

Image Description: The Abby’s Corner illustration was created by Jessica Marano. I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor with my laptop (complete with my Abby logo on the cover) in my jammies and slippers. On my head, with signature explosive hairstyle intact, is a headset and microphone to allow me to use my accessibility features on my laptop.  My white cane is propped up next to me.

Au revoir! ~Abby