After working with the Lighthouse for the Blind for many years we wondered why the members were requesting so many of our plants and trees for their homes. After speaking with one of the members over the phone to explain what the silk plants and trees looked like, I started to ask questions of what they were being used for. To my surprise they weren’t just purchasing them to decorate their homes and living areas, but it was to help guide them through their homes safely.
You see, placed in strategic positions in a visually impaired person’s home, they can help guide them through the maze of furniture which can cause harm if they accidentally run into a table or corner of a counter top. I was amazed at how inventive this was to use these in this manner and wanted to know more on how our silk plants could help the visually impaired. He went on to tell me that he had an end table beside his couch and it was at the entry to a hallway that led to the bedrooms. Many times he has misjudged the entrance to the hallway and bumped his leg on the coffee table. By placing a silk plant or artificial tree at the corner of the coffee table not only makes his home look nice, but if he misjudges the hallway entrance he will feel the leaves of the silk plant before hitting the table. In addition to this he also wanted to put one at the end of a breakfast bar so he could tell when he was close to the counter and when to turn into the kitchen. These were just a few of the areas he put some of our artificial bamboo trees to help him become more independent in his own home.
Many of our customers that were visually impaired requested certain characteristics for their silk plants and trees. Many requested them to be at least 4 feet tall and narrow. Silk bamboo trees were some of the best options for this use along with some of our topiaries. Four to six feet tall seemed to be the most popular and about three to four feet wide was ideal because they didn’t take up too much room. I was even surprised on how they were able to shop for these online. Many of our visually impaired customers had special programs that would read the webpage to them so we started to place larger descriptions on the pages. In addition, we were adding longer descriptions to the images on the page because this was the only way the item could be described to them. We had to create a picture in their mind on how our silk plants and trees looked without actually ever seeing them before.
We are not saying this is the answer to the visually impaired to become totally independent in their homes but it helps. Try walking around your home with your eyes closed and see how hard it would be because this is what they go through every day of their lives. Having silk plants and trees to make your life easier is well worth the small investment it takes to make their homes not only safer and more functional but beautiful as well.