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.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Little Things that Can Make a Big Difference

by Laura Legendary

If you have recently lost your eyesight, you may be wondering if you will ever use a pen to write again. Yes, you will. You may not be able to read what you're signing, but you will still need to sign that dinner check, write a sentiment at the bottom of a greeting card, or mail off some correspondence. You may be wondering how exactly that can be accomplished, other than by asking a sighted person to do it. Check out the variety of writing guides that can help you get the job done. Writing guides come in all sorts of sizes, are made of a variety of materials and have lots of uses.

Writing guides can really make your life much easier. It's time to stop struggling with trying to line up your writing to address an envelope without over-writing a line, or writing straight on the printed line of your checks, or signing on the dotted line of a credit card or other receipt. Try a sturdy aluminum guide to keep your writing legible and to be more independent. Carry a flexible plastic credit card sized signature guide in your wallet. Use cardboard guides if you need to cut one down to a custom size or fit.

Just lay the guides over the envelope, check or signature line of whatever it is you are writing, and you'll have no difficulty taking care of business on your own. You can even paper clip or tape down the guides so that you need not worry about slipping. If you have a loved one with vision loss, this is an inexpensive gift that will benefit them every day. It may be a little thing, but it can make a big difference for those who want to preserve their privacy and independence.

Laura Legendary is a speaker, author and educator specializing in disability awareness, accessibility and assistive technology. Visit Eloquent Insights at to request Laura for your next event. Find Laura's Accessible Insights blog at

APH Signature Guide

Aids people who are visually impaired in writing their signatures. Small, pocket-size frame has an opening with an elastic band. The band provides a guide for writing and flexes to allow for the descenders of letters.

Revised guide is made of durable, flexible plastic with the same rubber backing as before to prevent sliding. Measures 4 1/2" x 2 1/4". Recommended ages: 8 years and up.

Catalog Number: 1-03530-01
Click this link to purchase the APH Signature Guide.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
Web site:
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