The following post I sweet talked my wonderful colleague into letting me share with all of you. I know I have said this multiple times, but I am truly lucky to work in the state I do where there is an agency of talented people all under the same roof working towards the same mission; to assist our students and clients to build essential skills to become successful and independent adults.
The woman I am highlighting her knowledge in this post is Jessie Mabry. She was actually a student of my mentor’s many years ago and now works with us as our Children’s Services assistive technologist. Jessie is very creative and her ideas and techniques she implements in her own life are great mini-lessons for our students. Below I have posted her email to all of us today which as I am sure as you read on will be educated on the dynamics of organizing a closet for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Thank you to Jessie for sharing!
Good morning, everyone,
Totally off-topic from my usual e-mails, but I recently found a few neat things to help me make sense of my closet, and I wanted to let you know about them in case your students would find them handy. Amazon links are provided below, but these are by no means the only examples:
- First, I got a couple sets of these hangers. They take up less space than traditional plastic hangers; are sturdy enough to hold everything from tops to suits; and, best of all, have little hooks on the front for hanging outfits together, or multiple tops that go with the same sweater. Alternatively, you can get velvet hangers without the cascading hooks, but I find the option pretty indispensable. They don’t just come in black either.
- I also bought a set of clips to put on the hanger bar for skirts and suit pants.
- And closet dividers to separate sections from each other—e.g., coats, skirts/dresses, things matching black pants, things matching navy pants, etc. These are round with no writing on them, so you can write whatever you want to with a marking pen, or use Braille adhesive. I think there are also rectangular ones and some that come in multiple colors. I’d suggest sticking with the blank ones rather than ones with sizes or pre-written categories on them. I haven’t Brailled anything on mine, but they rattle as I push clothes down the rod, so I can hear when I’ve moved into another section, and I know my closet well enough to tell which one I’m in.
- Finally, I’ve always used open-ended pants hangers instead of draping slacks over the bottom of a standard hanger. They make it a lot easier to grab what I need. And I have an over-the-door shoe organizer where I pair my dress shoes up. The pockets could probably be labeled if desired.
All of this adds up, of course, but I think it’s more than worth the expense considering the space, convenience, and efficiency I’ve gained. I’m recommending these things as someone who wasn’t able to get them when I was young and probably could have really used them for organizing clothes independently.
I was thinking mostly about pre-teens and teens when I originally sent this out, but for all the littler ones out there, I just found children’s versions of the hangers! They are narrower across than the adult ones. Good gifts…
Thank you Jessie for sharing! What great resources to share with our students and families who are trying to support their child’s independence in the home! I am hopeful to have Jessie share some more great ideas with all of us in the future!