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Vision Impaired


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I've never been in your position, but I'd still include photos. You don't know that a sighted person won't be acting as "interpreter" or following up on repairs. With pics and a well-written report it will be easier to prove to a court that you did at least that which was required.

Let's hope you don't need to.[;)]

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Originally posted by Mike Lamb

...doing a home inspection for the vision impaired is not much different than any other.

No - it is much different. At least it should be.

In my "early years", I had a position that sometimes involved housing for folks with several different types of disabilities. In my inspecting career, I've worked for agencies that are purchasing group homes and apartment buildings for disabled residents. I've inspected many homes for blind and deaf clients and for faculty of blind schools and deaf schools (they're all blind or deaf as well).

In addition to a complete, thorough inspection, take the extra time to observe your client's different abilities. Adapt your on-site narrative with some (literal) hands-on instructions for operating appliances and equipment. Take a tour of the entire home and grounds with your client, while observing their unique method of negotiating obstacles and other possible risks that the sighted take for granted. Fire safety - prevention and escape issues, have some unique challenges.

As an experienced inspector, you have uniquely developed observation, analytical and communication skills. You now have an opportunity (responsibility) to help a special needs person be safer and more comfortable in their home.

Fire Risks for the Blind or Visually Impaired

Safer Home for the Visually Impaired

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That's a very good point.

I almost blew it on an inspection in August with a special needs person. I was trying to be "honest" and unbiased, I acted like I didn't see their disability.

When I was giving them the basic stuff on handrails and stairs, they opened right up and expressed how much they appreciated me telling them. I was just going for the usual safety lecture, but to them it was good advice on how to gain mobility through the house.

That turned into a 1/2 hour discussion of all sorts of ways to improve navigation, access, and safety egress with ramps, railings, and improved egress paths.

I was so afraid of insulting the person by recognizing their disability, I was being a dork and not doing a very good job. If you could get the person to open up about the issue, it could turn into a very enlightening inspection process.

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Originally posted by Mike Lamb

I’ll be doing an inspection for a blind man this week and my impression is that doing a home inspection for the vision impaired is not much different than any other. It’s a vacant home. Any thoughts?

Call a local rehab hospital and ask for the physical therapy dept. They have a protocol for inspecting homes that will be receiving visually impaired people. They may share it with you.

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This is Charlie's wife - I have a masters degree in Orientation and Mobility for the blind. First, a question - does your client have any vision? "Blind" simply means 20/200 with best correction or 20% field or less. (Loose definition). If they have some vision then there are some things you can do to make things easier. If they are totally blind then my advice is:

Do your normal inspection with pictures. As it was said above - they will probably have sighted people looking at it - not to mention their agent.

Don't do hands on etc... unless they want it. While it seems it would be helpful they may not need it or may have someone else who will be working with them. I have often oriented people to their homes etc... Believe it or not, just like with inspecting, training does make a difference! If they WANT hands on or ask then by all means, allow it - don't assume they want it.

Also, and the biggest thing, please just communicate. Be honest and ask for their input on what you can do to make the inspection most beneficial to them.

Sandy (Charlie's wife)

Oh, and just because someone is blind it doesn't mean they have acute hearing.

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Originally posted by charlieb

This is Charlie's wife - I have a masters degree in Orientation and Mobility for the blind. First, a question - does your client have any vision? "Blind" simply means 20/200 with best correction or 20% field or less. (Loose definition). If they have some vision then there are some things you can do to make things easier. If they are totally blind then my advice is:

Do your normal inspection with pictures. As it was said above - they will probably have sighted people looking at it - not to mention their agent.

Don't do hands on etc... unless they want it. While it seems it would be helpful they may not need it or may have someone else who will be working with them. I have often oriented people to their homes etc... Believe it or not, just like with inspecting, training does make a difference! If they WANT hands on or ask then by all means, allow it - don't assume they want it.

Also, and the biggest thing, please just communicate. Be honest and ask for their input on what you can do to make the inspection most beneficial to them.

Sandy (Charlie's wife)

Oh, and just because someone is blind it doesn't mean they have acute hearing.

I don't think his degree of blindness will change my inspection at all. Otherwise, Sandy's advise is what any of my clients should expect.

My comunication will be tested.

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