Independent Living Series Resource List

Suggested Reading

Unless otherwise indicated, these books may be obtained from traditional and online bookstores. Items in accessible formats are noted, where available.

Carroll, Thomas J. Blindness: What It Is, What It Does, and How to Live with It. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1961.

This book is available through the National Library Service on audiocassette. Although it is out of print, used print copies may be available as well.

Champlin, Charles. My Friend, You Are Legally Blind: A Writer's Struggle with Macular Degeneration. McKinleyville, CA: John Daniel & Co. Books, 2001.

The author, a writer and critic, brings flair and humor to his account of his struggles with the effects of macular degeneration. Anyone struggling with loss of vision may especially appreciate his story. This book is available from the Braille Institute in uncontracted (grade 1) braille.

Chapman, Bill. Coping with Vision Loss: Maximizing What You Can See and Do. Alameda, CA: Hunter House Publishers, 2001.

The author, who has 20/240 visual acuity, explains basic facts about eyes, vision, and rehabilitation, and he describes valuable low vision aids and necessary skills for a person with a low vision.

Duffy, M.A. Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations Living at Home After Vision Loss. New York: AFB Press, 2002.

This guide gives practical tips and shows how people who are visually impaired can live independent and productive lives. It provides general guidelines and room-by-room specifics for making the home accessible.

Kinney, Richard. Independent Living without Sight and Hearing. Arlington Heights: The Gray Dove, 1972.

This book by a past president of The Hadley School for the Blind explores making the most of the senses and the mind, communication methods, independence at home, and travel hints.

Lawhorn, Geraldine. On Different Roads: An Autobiography. New York: Vantage Press, 1991.

Geraldine (Jerrie) Lawhorn, Hadley instructor, tells her life story, from becoming deaf-blind in her teens to becoming the first African-American deaf-blind person to graduate from college.

Martin, Harry. What Blind People Wish Sighted People Knew about Blindness. Orlando, FL: Harry Martin Publishing, 1996.

The author asked hundreds of people with visual impairments to tell him what they thought sighted people should know about blindness. In this book, he uses these responses as well as his own experiences as a person with vision loss. Chapters range from discussions of "what it is like to be blind" to "fascinating facts about blindness" to "tips on being a sighted spouse."

Roberts, Dan. A Self-Help Guide to Non-Visual Skills. Macular Degeneration Support, Inc. MD Support. 2011.

This guide provides self-evaluation in 21 different areas of daily activities with links to brief lessons that introduce devices, technology, software, and adaptive strategies.

Sauerburger, Dona. Independence Without Sight or Sound: Suggestions for Practitioners Working with Deaf-Blind Adults. New York, NY: AFB Press, 1993.

This book presents essential information about communicating, working, and socializing with people who are deaf-blind. Subjects include methods of communication, the impact of isolation on people who are deaf-blind, and adaptive techniques for orientation and mobility techniques. The book contains an extensive section on resources.

Smith, Margaret. If Blindness Strikes, Don't Strike Out: A Lively Look at Living with a Visual Impairment. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd., 1984.

Smith writes of how, as a very active person who enjoyed the outdoors, she adapted to vision loss and continues to live independently and enjoy life.

Tuttle, Dean, and Naomi Tuttle. Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness: The Process of Responding to Life's Demands, 3rd ed. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd., 2004.

This book analyzes blindness in the context of developing self-esteem and adjusting with trauma. It provides an overview of blindness and explores the development of self-esteem and the impact of blindness. It examines the process of coping with trauma and offers suggestions for promoting self-esteem. It also gives guidelines for professionals who work with people who are visually impaired.

Younger, Vivian, and Jill Sardegna. A Guide to Independence for the Visually Impaired and Their Families. New York, NY: Demos Publications, 1994.

This book is written in a conversational, accessible style, and it addresses both people who have recently lost vision and their family members as well. It describes how to do basic tasks of independent living, discusses how to deal with the emotional impact of vision loss, and offers resources. Each chapter can be used independently.

(Submitted by: Patti Jacobson and Ginger Irwin; Last updated: July 31, 2013)

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