Helpful Hints

Bump dots

One of the most important and helpful strategies we teach is to build more contrast into our patient’s environments.  Using enhanced contrast makes doing a variety of tasks easier.  One of the tools that we use is something called bump dots.  These bump dots come in a variety of colors; red, white, black and clear.  They can both be seen because of the bright colors but also felt.  Bump dots come in strips of twenty to one hundred and have an adhesive backing.  A bump dot gets peeled off the strip and then can be applied to any surface.  Strips of twenty only costs $2.75.  We use them to mark appliance controls, telephones, thermostats and in any place else that needs a specific location marked.  The key to their use is to make sure to apply a bump dot with the maximum amount of contrast to where it is going to be applied.  For example, we would apply a red or white bump do to a black stove panel.  We apply a bump dot at the 350 and 450 degree markings on an oven dial.  Patients simply turn the dial while seeing and feeling the bump dot as a location marker.  They now easily know when the dial is less than 350 degrees, in between or above 450 degrees.  Another example is to put them on the numbers “9” and “1” on a telephone key pad to make dialing “911” easier. 

The bump dots are inexpensive and very easy to use.  More importantly, they enable low vision patients to do more thing independently.