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Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Vision Impaired From the UCSD Shiley Eye Center


December 18, 2007  |  

Faculty experts from the Shiley Eye Center’s Center for Community Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego offer the following gift suggestions for those with low or deteriorating vision, including individuals with adult macular degeneration:

  • Talking watches and clocks
  • Large print calendars for 2008
  • Large-button telephone
  • Voice-activated cell phone
  • Talking caller ID and answering machine

In addition, if a family member or friend with AMD or other vision disorders is ready to replace appliances, inquire about talking appliances.

To help create a safe environment for those losing their vision, make sure there is proper lighting in the home.   Be sure that stairs are well lit, and that the top and bottom stairs are marked.

Use color and contrast to create an advantage:

  • Enhance contrast between an object and its surroundings.  For example, use place settings that contrast with tablecloths. 
  • Colored glasses are less likely to be knocked over than clear ones. 
  • Distinguish keys by using different color nail polish or key covers.
  • Use a cutting board with a black side and a white side to enhance contrast while cutting.
  • Painting doorframes a contrasting color from the walls will highlight the doors.

As a final tip, to help tell the difference between pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, did you know that pennies and nickels have smooth edges and that quarters and dimes have ridges around their edges?

To learn more about the services offered at the UCSD Shiley Eye Center, including clinical trials for macular degeneration and other vision disorders, visit their website at, or seek a specialist at at.


Media Contact: Leslie Franz, 619-543-6163,

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