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Sight loss resources Daily living tips

Cooking with sight loss

Published on 7 Sept 2022

Our Rehabilitation Officers for People with Vision Impairment (ROVIs) work directly with blind veterans, helping them rebuild their lives with practical, technical and emotional support.

Here are some of their top tips for the kitchen when living with a vision impairment.

Making hot drinks

  • A small kettle, rather than a large one, is easier to lift when pouring hot liquids.
  • Put a ping-pong ball into your teapot to help with pouring. You will know that the teapot is full when the ball rises to the top.
  • You can use a liquid-level indicator to help you safely pour hot drinks. Attach the device to the side of your mug or cup and it’ll beep when it’s full so you know when to stop pouring.
A yellow liquid level indicator attached to the side of a mug, as a hand pours hot water from a kettle
A liquid-level indicator helps blind veterans make hot drinks safely


When pouring liquid into something with a narrow opening, such as a hot water bottle, use a large funnel with a narrow spout to help avoid spills.

Finding plates and glasses on tables

  • Use a place mat in a contrasting colour to your plate to make your plate easier to locate.
  • Plain plates with a single colour can help you more easily identify your food, as patterns can often be confused for food.
  • Placing a coloured ping-pong ball into clear glasses offers colour contrast and will allow you to see the glass more easily.
  • Use coloured mugs and glasses as they stand out more than clear ones and are easier to locate.
A plate, cutlery and placemat in bright, contrasting colours
A plate, cutlery and placemat in bright, contrasting colours

Telling bottles apart

If you struggle to differentiate between similar-shaped bottles, for example tomato sauce and brown sauce (or shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom), wrap an elastic band around one of them. This will make it easy to tell them apart.

Using a microwave

A microwave with dials rather than push buttons can be easier to use. There is usually one dial for the power settings and another for the timer. The dials can also be marked with bumpons (self-adhesive raised rubber dots) to make them even easier to use.



Identifying buttons and switches with bumpons

Bumpons are small, self-adhesive raised rubber dots that you can stick to surfaces to make them easier to identify. They come in a variety of colours, and you can use them on light switches, microwave dials, washing machine buttons, remote controls, telephones and so on to make them easier to identify and distinguish.

Bumpons placed on the dial of a microwave as markers
Bumpons placed on a microwave to identify controls

Highlighting items and hazards

If you often misplace your remote control, try putting a strip of bright orange or yellow tape on it so it stands out better. You can also use bright tape to make the edges of cupboards and doors more visible so you can avoid bumping into them.

A TV remote with bright yellow highlighter tape
A TV remote with yellow tape to make it easier to find

Always ask if you’re unsure of something 

There’s no such thing as a silly question. If you are a Blind Veterans UK beneficiary and need more information, call our helpline on 0300 111 22 33.

If you are not yet a Blind Veterans UK beneficiary, you can find more information in our urgent help section. 

You can also get advice about sight loss from the RNIB. Contact the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999, email them or say ‘Alexa, call RNIB helpline’ to an Alexa-enabled device.

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