When was the last time you picked up a book and began to read? Did you struggle with a word here or there; need extra light so that you could see the words, or did you find that the book wasn’t to your liking after all? These are minor concerns in the field of reading; ones that can be figured out without too much trouble and concern. But for the blind or low seeing, reading can be a problem, especially if the person has not yet learned how to read Braille. And this is where you can give some well-needed help and joy.
1. Make a visit to your local library. Volunteer to read to adults or children on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
2. Check with local organizations for the blind in your area, including schools and foundations. Make sure the organization doesn’t already have someone on staff who organizes this important task, and if not, offer your services for free and let the organization know what days and times are available to you.
3. Find out the needs within your local church. There may be someone who needs your help not only with reading but with writing a personal history of their life or addressing envelopes or other daily tasks.
4. Provide the services free of charge by placing an ad online or in the newspaper. Visit the client’s home to read.
In the end, a blind or low seeing individual wants to glean all you desire when you sit down with a book for the first time. So, speak clearly and with enthusiasm. Read what the client wants you to read, and skip those things he or she tells you do not interest him or her. If there are pictures, maps, or drawings, explain them so that the individual can see along with you. And above all, have a good time!