How Can People with Vision Loss Play Games?

Having fun and playing games does not have to stop simply because someone is blind or visually impaired. Many adapted versions of popular games, such as scrabble and bingo, allow people with no sight to play alongside their family and friends. Braille and large print playing cards help those of us who cannot see enjoy games like poker, Uno and so on. The Chicago Lighthouse Tools for Living Store has a variety of adapted games and other devices for game enthusiasts with vision loss. Here are some tips and techniques that people with visual impairments use to play games:

  • Braille and large print cards: this is a regular deck of cards with Braille or large print numbers. These are available at our Tools for Living Store. Braille readers can also purchase a standard print deck of cards and write the Braille numbers and letters on them. Note that casinos might not allow players with visual impairments to use their personal deck of cards. Instead, the casino may provide users with large print or Braille cards, or a reader – someone who will sit next to the player and read the cards that have been called out when playing games like poker.
  • Magnifiers: using magnifiers can help those with vision loss better read cards and see game pieces. Having a good background color contrast can also help.
  • Card holders or stands: these can make it easier for people with low vision to view a deck of cards while playing. You can also find these at our Tools for Living Store.
  • Labeling game pieces: if a game is not adapted, users can label it or make tactile markings with simple household objects. These include Velcro, pipe cleaners, different fabrics or craft paint.

You can find other tips and suggestions for playing games in this article from VisionAware.

Interested in playing casino games while supporting The Chicago Lighthouse? On Thursday, March 2, we will host our first ever “Raising the Stakes for Vision Casino and Poker Night!” The event will take place at Gibsons Steakhouse/Hugo’s Frog Bar, 1024 North Rush Street in Chicago. It will feature charitable casino games, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament, premium cocktails, Gibsons signature dinner and desserts and over $20,000 in prizes and auction items. Proceeds from this event will support Chicago Lighthouse programs serving people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veterans. For ticket pricing and full event details, visit this page. We hope you will join us, and thank you for supporting The Lighthouse!

sandy speaking

Sandy Murillo works at The Chicago Lighthouse, an organization serving the blind and visually impaired. She is the author of Sandy’s View, a bi-weekly Lighthouse blog about blindness and low vision. The blog covers topics of interest to those living with blindness and vision impairments. Being a blind journalist and blogger herself, Sandy shares her unique perspective about ways to live and cope with vision loss.

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