Low vision is not an uncommon physical condition. Older adults often experience worsening eyesight due to the natural process of aging. Other reasons might be due to a medical condition of the eyes.
Regardless of the reason, people who have poor eyesight might find it challenging to find hobbies that they can do.
When people struggle with an activity because they have low vision, it can become discouraging. Some might lose inspiration or motivation. However, with a bit of planning and guidance, there are many hobbies that people with low vision can take up, which are enjoyable and fulfilling.
Here are some great ideas for hobbies that do not need excellent eyesight.
What Types of Hobbies Are Best for Low Vision?
People with low vision struggle with activities that require a lot of detail. So, the hobbies that are best for low vision are those that do not require excellent eyesight.
Here are the various hobby types that you can consider:
- Activities that involve gross motor skills instead of fine motor skills – Fine motor skills require a keen eye, whereas large motor skills need the major muscles and don’t require a lot of detail. These would be more appropriate.
- Activities that do not require you to follow a visual diagram and step-by-step written instructions – Sometimes written instructions can be enlarged, but if the enlargement cannot fit the whole diagram on the same sheet of paper, that can become inconvenient.
- Activities that make good use of the senses other than vision – Hobbies that allow you to touch and manipulate something without requiring a great deal of accuracy would be good possibilities.
- Activities that can be done with others that do not need good vision – The other benefit to these types of hobbies is that there is socialization with others, which makes the activity so much more enjoyable.
Recommended Hobbies for Low Vision
Here are some specific examples of hobbies that would be a good choice for low-vision individuals.
This hobby requires your hands to mold clay into a pot of any size or shape. Molding the clay requires your touch and feel more than your vision. You can still see the general shape of the object, but by feeling it, you can tell how you want to shape your project.
There are pottery places that can fire your project for you. Or, you can use clay that will air dry. Not only will you enjoy the process of making it, but you will end up with pots that you can use at home or as gifts to others.
You can sculpt using modeling clay. Again, this has more to do with your touch and feel rather than visual detail. Your sculpture does not need a lot of detail. You can sculpt interesting shapes that strike your fancy.
Painting abstract art
Abstract art does not require a lot of detail. So, you do not have to worry if the vase of flowers you painted actually looks like a vase of flowers. You can paint with bright and bold colors to help you see your work better.
Do not sweat over the minute details of your painting because there is no right or wrong. That is why it is called abstract!
This is an easy hobby to do by cutting out things from magazines. The cut-outs do not have to be accurate.
You can cut out parts of magazine photos with objects or colors in a theme that you like and paste them onto a large sheet of construction paper. If you have a way to laminate it, you can make placemats out of them.
You can do low-impact exercises or even yoga. This does not require good vision at all. Join a fitness club or a yoga class. You can enjoy the company of others, and you will get in great shape as a result of it.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to sing, this is a good time to pick up the hobby. There are singing instructors who don’t require you to read music if reading is difficult. You can train your ear, learn singing techniques, and just practice with your favorite tunes.
There are plenty of games that don’t require you to read the fine print in the instructions. Chess, checkers, dominoes (with large dots), and cards with large printed numbers are just a few examples.
Assuming that you know your way around your own kitchen, cooking different types of cuisine can be fun. If you have trouble reading a recipe, you can use a screen reader to read out the recipe.
Get a general idea of the recipe, and don’t worry about exact measurements because recipes are always tweaked to taste. Use your sense of smell and taste to guide you.
As a rule of thumb, you should label your spices in large letters so you won’t use the wrong one.
Hobbies to Avoid for Low Vision
There are some hobbies that low-vision individuals should avoid due to reasons of safety or just because they are prone to cause frustration. Here are a few examples.
This requires a high level of visual detail. Sometimes it is even challenging for people with regular vision.
Working on a sewing machine can be straining to the eyes in general. For people with low vision, it is especially challenging because you have to get closer to the stitches. Threading the sewing machine also requires a level of accuracy and can cause frustration.
This requires working with small parts and reading detailed step-by-step instructions. Model diagrams are also often very detailed and hard to read. This would be very difficult for a person with low vision to do.
This also requires you to work with very small and delicate parts. If precious gemstones are part of the design, and you dropped a gemstone, it would be most difficult to find it without help.
Woodworking with machinery
If you have low vision, it is best to avoid operating machinery that can be dangerous if you cannot see clearly, like a bandsaw.
Hitting the target requires a high level of visual acuity. This would not be possible for someone with low vision.
Sports that use balls
Hobby sports like golf, basketball, baseball, and others all require you to accurately aim the ball at something. You have to strike the ball, throw the ball, catch the ball, or shoot the ball with great accuracy. A person with low vision would not have that level of accuracy.
Summary and Final Recommendations
Hobbies should be something that you enjoy doing. It should be something that you look forward to and not something that you feel you are forced to do.
When choosing a hobby for low vision, choose something that you will be comfortable doing without needing to focus your eyesight on it.
Find activities that allow you to use your other senses that are stronger and that do not depend on good vision. A lot of activities that require vision can be modified, so you don’t need perfect vision in order to do the activity.
There are activities that you can modify so you can maximize your other senses like touch, hearing, tasting, etc.
Low vision might be considered by some as a disability, but that does not mean that people with low vision have to sacrifice their enjoyment in life.
Finding creative hobbies that do not require excellent vision can bring enrichment that will help the low-vision individuals feel more fulfilled.