Q & A: Adapting a Yard Stick

Question: How does a Visually Impaired or Blind person use a yardstick if they cannot read the markings on the tool?

Some measuring tools are adapted with tactile markings or audible feedback.  No matter which needle art form you enjoy doing there is at least one measuring tool available to make the task less frustrating. See Resources below.

Or make your own tactile measuring tool out of a standard yard stick with 3-D puff paint found in a craft or fabric store. The instructions are given below.

Keep on enjoying needle arts without sight.

Adapting a Wood or Plastic Yard Stick

Supplies Needed:

  • A person with good sight to do the work for you
  • A yard stick
  • 3-D puff fabric paint such as “Tulips-Beads in a Bottle” (my preferred brand for this)

1. Place a dot of “Beads in a Bottle” or 3-D paint at each inch. Two dots may be put at each foot to indicate twelve inch segments. Let dry 24 hours before using.

2. If desired, place a dot at every desired yardage increment on the opposite edge of the yard stick. For example at 1/8 yard, 1/4 yard or 3/8 yard, etc.

Resources for other types of measuring tools:

American Printing House for the Blind, www.aph.org, Phone 800-223-1839. For: Braille measuring tools such as 12-inch ruler with slide marker and yardstick.

Independent Living Aids, www.independentliving.com, Phone 800-537-2118. For: Talking tape measure.

National Federation of the Blind, www.NFB.org, in their product catalog under Measuring Devices. For: Click Rule with extension rods, braille rulers and other measuring devices.

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