Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

“Are We There Yet?”: Travel tips for Families With Children Who Are Visually Impaired

by B.E. Lewis, RDPFS Intern:

As summer’s scorching days linger, you may still be planning vacations and trips. When traveling with children with visual impairment, taking a few steps ahead of time can make the trip go more smoothly. The key is preparation.

Road Trip

How do you keep children interested during a long road trip? Here are a few suggestions:

– Create a tactile map, which can help to describe the trip.
– Develop a story book about an activity you will do on your trip, using tactile graphics, braille, and large print, depending on what works for the child.
– Bring along portable and accessible activities, puzzles, and toys to keep your children occupied.
– Share the plan: Keep the whole family involved in travel planning. Children who know where they’re going and what to expect are more willing travelers, especially if they have the opportunity to help pick out fun activities.
For additional suggestions and other details, read Paths to Literacy’s “5 Tips to Keep Your Child with Visual Impairment Busy and Happy on a Road Trip.” and, in an article in NY Metro Parents, Travel Tips for Families with a Visually Impaired Child from Hadley.

A Virtual Travel Chat
Hadley also provides a chat on travel the first Wednesday of every month. The next segment, on August 2, 2023 at 4 pm, covers train travel. Learn more here about Travel Talk.

Amusement Parks

Here are some tips if a visit to an amusement park is part of the route:

– Check out park accessibility guides. Many amusement parks have accessibility guides available on their websites for guests with disabilities, including vision impairment. Guides may also be available in accessible formats at the park.
– Download a high-resolution copy of the park map from their website or other source. It can be helpful to zoom in to find things.
– Request descriptive audio for shows. Descriptive audio devices, which should be available at guest services, are about the size of a cell phone and narrate the movement on the stage.
-Before going on a ride, read all safety information to determine if it is right for you. Many ride descriptions are available online and can be read using a magnifier or screen reader.

For more information, visit the Perkins School for the Blind webpage on Going to Amusement Parks with Low Vision

Wherever your travel takes you, have a safe and enjoyable adventure!