I am legally blind and need some ideas on how to navigate from one place to another on my ranch and to locate gates, corrals and pastures.

Some ideas that can help are:

  1. Different texture ropes strung between buildings with different numbers of knots tied at important locations.
  2. Different texture gravel and stone paths to different locations.
  3. A contrast of lighting brightness or colors.
  4. A talking Trekker GPS can be programmed with destination points and routes around the ranch. Contact Humanware at www.humanware.com or phone at 800-722-3393.
  5. High visibility tape or paint to mark paths, buildings and other locations.
  6. One farmer reported using different sounding wind chimes to identify key sites around his farm.
  7. Another farmer used radios set to different stations in his garage, shop and barn to help give him his bearings.
  8. Breaking New Ground Resource Center at Purdue University has an entry in its Plowshares Technical Reports series that you might find beneficial—Farming with a Visual Impairment (Plowshares #13).
  9. The "Toolbox," is a CD-ROM and on-line catalog of commercial and farmer-modified equipment and assistive devices for farming with a disability. One of the "Toolbox" fact sheets is on outdoor navigation aids for the visually impaired. Your county Extension office and local high school agricultural education teacher should have a copy of the CD to view (perhaps borrow), or you can access it (in pdf format) at www.bngtoolbox.info.