Self-evaluation: Independent Activities of Daily Living.

About the Activity Lessons

This section lists each of the 21 independent activities of daily living, including information about the following assistive procedures for maintaining them:

1. Labeling.
2. Modifying or developing techniques.
3. Using Braille.
4. Using high technology devices or software.
5. Modifying objects or environment.
6. Using orientation and mobility skills.
7. Utilizing a public service.
8. Using low vision materials and non-optical devices or equipment.

In each case, the alternate senses are repeated, and related assistive procedures are outlined. These lessons will introduce you to a number of nonvisual alternatives. They do not, however, offer in-depth information or training opportunities that should follow in many cases.

For more information, or for assistance in putting the procedures into practice, ask your eye care specialist for a referral to a professional low vision therapist. Or, you may contact your state agency for the visually impaired for assistance. A directory of phone numbers and web sites is included in this guide.


Activity 1 – Managing health and personal hygiene.

a: Cleaning teeth or dentures (alternate senses: touch, smell, & taste).
b: Filling the tub and sink (alternate sense: touch).
c: Washing skin and hair (alternate senses: touch & smell).
d: Identifying and applying deodorant (alternate senses: touch & smell).
e: Brushing, combing, and styling hair (alternate sense: touch).
f: Trimming and shaving facial and body hair (alternate sense: touch).
g: Identifying and applying lotions, creams, and scents (alternate senses: touch & smell).
h: Identifying and applying makeup (alternate senses: touch & smell).
i: Manicuring and pedicuring (alternate senses: touch & smell).
j: Cleaning ears and nostrils (alternate sense: touch).

Activity 2 – Dressing.

Identifying, donning, and storing clothing, accessories and footwear (alternate senses: touch, & hearing).

Activity 3 – Eating.

a: Locating and using dishes, utensils and glassware. (alternate sense: touch).
b: Cutting food (alternate sense: touch).
c: Applying condiments (alternate senses: touch, smell, & taste).

Activity 4 – Moving about the home (functional mobility)

a: Locating and identifying furniture and appliances (alternate sense: touch).
b: Negotiating steps (alternate sense: touch).
c: Passing through entryways (alternate sense: touch).
d: Closing and securing doors and windows (alternate sense: touch).
e: Opening and shutting cabinets and drawers (alternate sense: touch).

Activity 5 – Toileting

a: Operating the toilet (alternate sense: hearing).
b: Personal cleansing (alternate sense: touch).

Activity 6 – Managing Personal Finances

a: Paying bills (alternate senses: touch, & hearing).
b: Making deposits and withdrawals (alternate senses: touch & hearing).

Activity 7 – Practical writing

Writing reminders, lists, labels, etc. (alternate senses: touch, & hearing).

Activity 8 – Cleaning the house

a: Cleaning floors (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
b: Washing windows, mirrors, and walls (alternate sense: touch).
c: Cleaning and dusting furniture, shelves, and appliances (alternate sense: touch).
d: Organizing clutter (alternate sense: touch).
e: Arranging decorative items like knick-knacks and pictures (alternate sense: touch).
f: Making beds (alternate sense: touch).

Activity 9 – Taking medications

Identifying and organizing (alternate senses: touch & hearing).

Activity 10 – Shopping

a: Locating and identifying products (alternate senses: touch, hearing, & smell).
b: Identifying prices (alternate sense: hearing).
c: Identifying currency (alternate senses: touch & hearing.
d: Identifying colors (alternate sense: hearing.

Activity 11 – Operating the telephone

a: Direct dialing (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
b: Finding and recalling phone numbers (alternate senses: touch & hearing).

Activity 12 – Reading

a: Leisure, such as books, magazines, and music (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
b: Practical, such as instructions, appliance controls, labels, calendars, and schedules (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
c: Telling time and temperature (alternate senses: touch & hearing).

Activity 13 – Participating in games and hobbies

a: Playing electronic and table games (alternate sense: touch).
b: Working word puzzles (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
c: Needlework (alternate sense: touch).
d: Crafting and woodworking (alternate sense: touch).
e: Participating in individual and team sports (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
f: Caring for and repairing machinery (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
g: Sculpting, painting, drawing, and photography (alternate sense: touch & hearing).

Activity 14 – Experiencing, or participating in alive or electronic, entertainment

a: Playing an instrument, alone or with others (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
b: Attending a live event (alternate sense: hearing).
c: Dancing (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
d: Singing (alternate sense: hearing).

Activity 15 – Socializing and communicating with others

a: Recognizing others (alternate senses: touch, hearing, & smell).
b: Conversing in person (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
c: Participating in electronic social media (alternate senses: touch & hearing).

Activity 16 – Traveling away from home

a: Passengering (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
b: Operating a vehicle (alternate senses: none yet).
c: Walking and hiking (alternate senses: touch & hearing).

Activity 17 – Responding to emergencies

a: Locating exits (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
b: Getting help through Medic Alert, 9 1 1, etc. (alternate senses: touch, & hearing).
c: Locating and using first aid supplies (alternate sense: touch).
d: Identifying danger (alternate senses: touch, hearing, smell, & taste).
e: Locating gas, electricity, and water shutoffs (alternate senses: touch & hearing).

Activity 18 – Preparing meals

a: Locating, identifying, and using food products (alternate senses: touch, hearing, smell, & taste).
b: Locating, identifying, and using utensils and cookware (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
c: Using kitchen appliances (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
d: Measuring & pouring (alternate sense: touch).
e: Setting the table (alternate sense: touch).
f: Cleaning up (alternate sense: touch).

Activity 19 – Following safety procedures

a: Plugging and unplugging electrical cords (alternate sense: touch.
b: Operating controls, such as thermostats, appliances, and heaters (alternate sense: touch).
c: Using tools (alternate sense: touch).

Activity 20 – Doing laundry

a: Separating and sorting clothing (alternate senses: touch, & hearing).
b: Operating the washer and dryer (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
c: Locating, identifying, and measuring soaps and chemicals (alternate senses: touch & smell).

Activity 21 – Maintaining and caring for home and property

a: Locating, identifying, and organizing tools and equipment (alternate sense: touch).
b: Locating, identifying, organizing, and measuring lawn and garden chemicals (alternate senses: touch, & smell).
c: Making minor repairs (alternate senses: touch & hearing).
d: Mowing, trimming, and weeding (alternate sense: touch).
e: Painting and refinishing (alternate sense: touch).
f: Sweeping and raking (alternate sense: touch).
g: Watering (alternate sense: touch).

Return to table of contents

Custom Wordpress design and web development by Jeff Roberts Web Design

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann