Disability and Doing Laundry

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s Blog.

Doing laundry is probably one of the most unavoidable household chores in life. It is also something that a lot of people just do it, without even having to give it a second thought. But, a simple task as such can be difficult for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses; here, difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With some adjustments, it can still be done. In this blog, I’m sharing with you today on how I do laundry, as a visually impaired and a chronically ill young adult, and importantly, what’s been helpful to me personally.

Using a Low Vision Aid (my Monocular scope):

Due to my visual impairment, and the fact that my distance vision is very poor. I couldn’t see the dials on the laundry and dryer machines very well. These dials are usually very small, and sometimes they “look alike.” Because I don’t have a laundry and dryer machines for my personal use, I couldn’t just mark them (i.e. with tactile bump-on stickers) to make them accessible. In that case, I use a monocular scope, (which is a low vision aid I use to do other daily tasks as well, mainly for distance vision). Usually, with the help of my monocular scope, I’m able to see the dials a bit clearer, so I can press the correct ones.

Using Laundry Detergent Pods (i.e. Tide Pods):

Laundry detergent pods are proven helpful (and easier to use than detergent powders or liquids) for people with visual impairment. The idea is that, there is no need to measure the amount of liquids or powders to be poured into the laundry machine. Although, my decision to use detergent pods is most because, the powder and liquid usually comes in large amounts, and that is very heavy to carry around, when the laundry itself is already heavy enough! Due to my chronic illnesses, pain and fatigue, and carrying heavy things will often take a toll on my body, causing more pain and fatigue. Because of that, I’ve found laundry pods to be more useful than any other options.

Using Scent-Free Products:

I started exploring scent-free laundry products just a few months ago. It all began when due to my chronic illnesses, my sensitivity to scent has increased dramatically. I’ve found it difficult and sometimes impossible to use products with strong scents (in which sadly, the majority of laundry products have scents, so the options are really limited). So far, I’ve found Tide Free and Gentle laundry detergent and Bounce Free and Gentle Fabric Softener dryer sheets are products I can tolerate. Another reason for this switch is that, not only doing laundry and exposing to all the scents had caused a lot of discomfort and flare-ups, the scents that remained on the clean laundry was also a huge problem. So, I had to make this switch, and I can’t be happier!

Using a Laundry Basket or Hamper with Wheels:

This is also a recent switch I made. Before this, I only used a mesh laundry basket, and it was such a struggle. I had to drag the laundry to the elevator, then to the laundry room. It used too much energy and often left me exhausted after just doing laundry. Few months ago, I bought a laundry basket with wheels, and it has helped me quite a lot since then, I no longer struggle to get the laundry up and down, because I can just wheel it! I can use my energy on other things, other than on doing laundry.

So, here are the things I’ve made changes and have found to help with my independence of doing laundry, despite my visual impairment and chronic illnesses. Here are some questions for you, my readers: Do you also struggle with doing laundry? What have you found helpful? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Thank you for reading to the end.

By: The Invisible Vision Project

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