Getting Around Safely with Low Vision

4 tips to stay safe and smart while you’re out and about

By planning ahead, you can be confident in your ability to get around safely with wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) – whether you are preparing for a trip to the store, or travel to another country.

Here are four tips to help you prepare for your next journey:

  • Plan before you go. Get to know your destination ahead of time. Simple internet searches can help you understand the area, such as how transportation works or what accessibility resources are available. Mapping technology or apps on your smartphone, like ViaOptaNav , can even help you “rehearse” the journey ahead of time. These tools provide a view of your route, optional voice-guided instructions and tactile feedback to keep you on track.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Busy places like airports and train stations, and even grocery stores, can have an overwhelming amount of signage. The signs may be hard to read and it’s easy to get confused. If you are having difficulty understanding where to go or find something, ask an employee if they can help guide you or to identify someone who will. You can also call ahead to ask for accessibility information, or to arrange guidance for once you arrive.
  • Brighter bags and luggage are better. Use bags and luggage with distinctive coloring or patterns so you can identify and track your belongings more easily. Another option is to add a large tag in a bright colour that contrasts with your bag to help it stand out. This can make a big difference since bags in colours like black, grey and brown are the most common and can be difficult to tell apart.
  • The journey is better together. Travelling with a friend or loved one can make any journey more fun. Even for short trips within your community, you can consider asking a friend, family member or neighbour to go with you the first time so you are more comfortable navigating by yourself in the future.

Whether visiting family, vacationing or simply going to a new local park for the first time, taking a few steps in advance to prepare can help you be confident and safe in your travels.


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