Engaging Hobbies and Interests

  As your child continues exploring new social settings and experiences, they should try new or different hobbies and interests. Hobbies play a vital role in the development of a young adult, and they’re just as important for a young adult who is blind or low vision. Hobby engagement provides an outlet for self-expression, supports social skills, fosters independence, and builds confidence. 

Sports and Physical Activities

Participating in sporting events will promote physical fitness, teamwork, and discipline, whether your child is active in a sport, playing for fun, or spectating. Being a spectator or cheering on their team promotes social skills and a feeling of belonging. Some traditional sports may pose challenges to an athlete who is blind or has low vision, but most can be adapted to allow for independence and safe participation with peers. 


Goalball is a Paralympic sport designed specifically for athletes who are blind or low vision. It involves two teams of three players, each attempting to throw a ball with bells into the appointment’s goal. The game promotes teamwork, spatial awareness, and physical fitness. 

Beep Baseball

Beep baseball is another adaptive sport. It is similar to baseball but incorporates a beeping ball and buzzing bases to help players locate and run to the bases. The pitcher and catcher are sighted, and the fielders use auditory cues to field the ball.

Tandem Cycling

Tandem cycling involves riding a bicycle built for two. The first rider, usually sighted, will steer. This sport allows your child to enjoy cycling while developing trust and communication skills with their cycling partner. 

Track and Field

Various track-and-field events, such as running, jumping, and throwing, can be adapted. Guides or sighted guides can help your child safely navigate the track, course, or trail. 


Swimming is an inclusive and accessible sport. Swimmers can use sound or tactile cues to stay in their lanes, and guides can assist them during competition.


Judo is adapted for an athlete who is blind or has low vision. Blind Judo requires the athlete to maintain contact with the component. Many athletes begin with their school-based wrestling team and transition to Judo. 


Modifications to the traditional game of hockey make this sport accessible. The puck is larger and slower than a standard one and provides auditory feedback by beeping. The goal nets are 3 feet high to keep the puck lower and near the ice. The teams must complete one pass before scoring in the attacking half of the rink. 


One can learn to ski while blind or low vision by beginning with a few lessons with an adaptive ski program. A trained ski guide or instructor can provide verbal guidance through courses, terrain, and obstacles. 

Blind Soccer

The sport is played in over 60 countries and is becoming the fastest-growing Paralympic sport. The game is played on a solid smooth service with ‘kick-boards’ as a boundary to the playing area. Each team has five players, including a goalkeeper. The ball contains bells or an alternative way to make noise as it moves on the ground or in the air. The goalkeeper can be sighted or low vision but must not leave their area. 

Resources for adaptive sports and teams

  • United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA): USABA is a leading organization promoting sports and physical activities for individuals who are blind or have low vision. They offer resources, events, and information about adaptive sports programs nationwide.
  • Camp Abilities: Camp Abilities offers many camps for youth to experience a variety of sports and physical activities. They also have many resources, such as videos and documents, to help coaches and physical education teachers adapt lessons or sports for your child to be safe and successful. 


Music offers many opportunities for self-expression, creativity, and personal development. Playing a musical instrument can be an enriching experience, leading to opportunities to play in a group or orchestra or perform on stage. Working towards a performance will help your child be aware of work ethic, determination, perseverance, and feelings of accomplishment and ownership of their hard work. 

  • Singing: Singing requires only one’s voice. Opportunities to further singing abilities include taking lessons, joining a choir, or performing solos. 
  • Piano and Keyboard: Many pianos can have braille labels or tactile markings added, and electronic keyboards often have accessible features such as large print or speech output. 
  • Guitar: While traditional guitars may require visual cues, adapted guitars are available with tactile markers and braille labels on the fretboard. These adaptations allow for learning chords and playing melodies more accessible. 
  • Wind Instruments: With extra instruction and guidance from music educators and trial and error, many students have successfully learned to play the flute or saxophone. Braille music sheets will support learning foundational skills for learning notes, patterns, or basic music concepts. As your child becomes more familiar and comfortable, they may use an OrCam, iPad screen reader, or iPhone support to memorize the pieces.  

Resources for music and instruments

Arts and Crafts

Engaging in arts and crafts activities allows students to express themselves creatively, develop fine motor skills, and explore tactile sensations. While some traditional visual arts may require adaptations, there are numerous accessible options available for students to participate and create stunning works of art. 

  • Tactile Art: Tactile art involves creating works with texture and three-dimensional elements that one explores through touch. Tactile art can include sculpting with clay, creating tactile collages, or using materials like fabric, beads, and other natural objects to enhance the tactile experience. 
  • Tactile Graphics and Drawings: Tactile graphics allow your child to experience visual information through touch. Raised line drawings, tactile diagrams, and embossed materials can be used to explore science and geography concepts or create artistic representations.
  • Clay Modeling and Potter: Working with clay provides a wonderful tactile experience, allowing your child to create unique pottery pieces through touch and manipulation. 
  • Weaving and Textile Arts: Weaving on a small loom or using textured yarn can produce beautiful tactile textiles. Explore and experiment with patterns and color combinations to further express creativity. 

Resources to explore more about arts and crafts

  • American Printing House for the Blind (APH): APH offers a range of tactile graphics, braille materials, and arts and crafts supplies specifically designed for your child.
  • Paths to Literacy: Paths to Literacy provides resources and strategies for teaching arts and crafts. They offer ideas for adapting activities and making them accessible.
  • VisionAware: APH ConnectCenter VisionAware offers articles and resources for making arts and crafts accessible. 

Technology and Coding

In today’s digital age, technology and coding skill are increasingly valuable for various fields and career paths. Young adults can actively participate in technology and coding activities with the help of accessible tools and resources. Engaging in these areas allows them to explore the digital world, develops problem-solving abilities, and prepares them for future opportunities. 

  • Screen Readers and Screen Magnifiers: Screen readers are software applications that read aloud the text displayed on a computer or other devices. Screen readers and magnifiers help make websites or school projects more accessible. Learning to use them provides real-life experiences as many find employment within companies to help make their digital offerings accessible to others. 
  • Text-Based Coding: Encourage students to use text-based coding instead of visual programming tools. These opportunities allow students to write and execute code directly using keyboard input, which is more accessible.
  • Tactile Graphics and 3D Printing: Tactile graphics provide a hands-on way for students who are blind or low vision to understand programming concepts. 3D printing can also create tactile models of coding structures and objects.

Resources for technology and coding

  • National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM): NCAM offers resources and guidelines for creating accessible digital media, including information on making coding environments and technology accessible for individuals who are blind or have low vision. 
  • Perkins School for the Blind: Perkins School for the Blind provides information and resources in technology and coding for youth, including accessible learning tools. 
  • American Printing House for the Blind (APH): APH offers accessible coding and technology resources for students who are blind or have low vision. They provide educational materials and tools for accessing learning. They also offer webinars and the annual Coding Symposium. 

Video Games and Chat Boards

Video games and chat boards are popular forms of entertainment and communication for young adults. Engaging with peers in this social virtual world allows youth to connect and find others who share similar passions. As always, be mindful of online safety.

  • Accessible Video Games: Some commercial video games have accessibility features such as customizable controls, enlarged text, high contrast modes, or audio descriptions, making them more inclusive.
  • Explore Accessibility Settings: Many commercial video games offer accessibility settings that allow a player to customize the gaming experience. Check the game’s options for enlarged text, adjustable contrast, or remappable controls. 
  • Use Platform Accessibility Features: Game consoles and PCs often have built-in accessibility features that can be applied globally, affecting all games played on that platform.
  • Accessible Chat Boards: Many chat boards and communication platforms are compatible with screen readers. Accessible chat boards allow your child to participate in online discussions and interact with others independently.

Resources for video games and chat boards

  • AbleGamers: AbleGamers is a nonprofit organization that advocates for accessibility in video games. They provide resources, reviews, and guidance on accessible gaming solutions.
  • GameAccessibilityGuidelines: This website offers comprehensive guidelines for game developers to create accessible video games. It is a resource for understanding what features to look for in accessible games. 
  • Discord: This chat board is a popular communication platform widely used by gamers and various communities. It offers both text-based channels and voice chat options. Discord is accessible and compatible with screen readers. 

Your child should be encouraged and empowered to explore various hobbies. Allow your child to find their interests. Both urban and rural areas have offerings your child can experience.

  • Rural areas provide opportunities for outdoor hobbies such as hiking, camping, fishing, growing plants, or 4H.
    • Urban settings provide various volunteer opportunities, such as participating in food drives, neighborhood clean-ups, or other services offered in the community. 

Exploring a variety of hobbies and interests will help your child develop interests and passions they will carry into adulthood.