Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Friday, March 19, 2010

Going Shopping with Mom

by Donna J. Jodhan

Going shopping with mom is always a very special occasion for me. You see, she is not just mom; she is my shopping buddy, my eyes, and my best friend. She knows exactly how to interact with me and how to make my shopping trip a joy, rather than a chore. For I can tell you this! Going shopping with a blind person can either turn out to be a nightmare or a joy, it all depends on who is taking you shopping.

For those who have little or no experience with taking a blind person shopping, here is how mom does it. I take her arm and she gently but firmly guides me through the mall; describing things as we walk. She describes the people passing by, tells me the names of stores, and if I am interested in any of them as we walk by, we stroll inside for a visit. If it is a clothing store, mom and I visit each rack and she tells me what is on each rack. If it is a shoe store, we do the same and if it is a supermarket then the fun really starts!

In stores, mom takes her time to describe the merchandise in detail. She tells me the colors of things, describes the shapes of clothing and shoes, and if I am interested in something, she takes the object of interest off the rack and we go to the fitting room to try it on. Mom gives me her opinion of how it looks on me; whether or not the color suits me or if it fits me well. I trust her totally to tell me how things look. It helps a lot that I was able to see at one time,so as she describes things, I picture them in my mind.

Shopping in stores is a two way street, when mom chooses things, she allows me to use my sense of touch to help her decide if something would be what she may or may not like. I am unable to help her with colors of course, but I can tell if clothing fits her by touching her shoulders if it is a sweater, blouse, or jacket, and feeling the length of skirts and coats. If it is a pair of shoes that she is trying on, then she allows me to use my fingers to make sure that her toes are not too close to the tips of the shoes. For handbags and purses, she places them in my hands and I can feel the shape and give my opinion.

Shopping in the supermarket is not much different for mom and me. She describes what's on the shelves, tells me the prices, and places produce and packaged meat in my hands so that I can get an idea of what she is describing. We always have fun doing this because we both love shopping at the supermarket.

So there you have it; shopping in a different way but getting the job done in style.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.