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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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Unable to Spot Leaks

by Donna J. Jodhan

Spotting leaks for me is probably one of the most trying things in my life. A few weeks ago as I was sitting on my bath tub, I was alerted to the fact that there was a leak in my bathroom. You see, my meditation was interrupted by a big fat drop of water that fell onto my head. So, up I got and climbed onto the side of my bath tub to investigate. I moved my hands cautiously around on the ceiling and soon and sure enough, I was right! Two of the tiles on my ceiling were completely water logged and had begun their final journey downward.

Now, had I not been assaulted by that bold and presumptuous drop of water, I probably would never have known that such a leak existed and what could have happened is anyone's guess. Probably, the tiles would have fallen either on me or in my bathroom making a real mess. If I were able to see, chances are that I would have spotted this leak long before the big fat drop of water warned me but that's life for me. The same thing would apply if the leak had come from down below. That is, from my own toilet. I probably would have felt the water first before knowing about it.

In the world of a blind person, we are often warned by touch after the leak has started whereas for the sighted world leaks are often spotted visually. Or, we are treated to the sensation of wetness or powdery stuff that tells us that a leak has indeed made its way into our world. So, how do I deal with spotting leaks? Not easy for me but I do need to take precautions. I am always listening for running water if I have not myself initiated it. In the kitchen, my hands are constantly roaming along the bottoms of mugs, cups, plates, saucers, pots and pans, shopping bags, plus more. I am constantly feeling my way along my counters and dressers to ensure that nothing has leaked out of rice, pasta, salt, and sugar canisters and I am constantly checking bottles and jars.

I check my fridge regularly for spills and leaks. I check my bathroom regularly for leaks from various jars, bottles, and various containers. My hands are constantly checking makeup cases for leaking powders and liquids. Painful you ask? Not really when you think of what could happen if you do not check on a constant basis. Just a part of my life.

If you would like to learn more about how blind persons cope on a daily basis then visit

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:

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