Almost every single organ of your body has an important role to play. Some of them help you stay alive, while others provide you a convenient life. The eye is one of the organs that makes the quality of our life much better. The human eye works in the same manner as a camera which develops an image of the surroundings through a lens. This allows you to witness and enjoy the wonders of the world.
Imagine your life without the gift of sight; it sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well, visual disturbances and disorders are some of the most common problems in the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2.2 billion people around the globe suffer from a near or distance vision impairment. Many people go through some type of visual problem at some stage in their lives. However, most of these problems can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgical treatments.
People losing their vision at a young age has a rare incidence. It can be caused by an injury or another disease. Congenital blindness, which is referred to as visual impairment at birth, is also a common type of blindness.
With new technologies and innovations coming out every day, new developments are brought in to help make the lives of the visually impaired easier and better. There are many projects and games like board games designed for such people that help them learn more, pass their time, and engage in healthy activities.
Regular board games can prove to be problematic for a person with any kind of visual impairment as the game may need detailed knowledge from the players or burden their visual sensitivity. These games can be impossible to play for completely blind people.
But this doesn’t mean that they will miss out on all these amazing board games because the new adaptations of these games are out there, and they are best for blind and visually impaired people.
Eight Best Adapted Board Games for the Visually Impaired
There is no doubt that monopoly is one of the most known board games in the world, with multiple versions available for different audiences. It is a traditional board game where the players have to move around the game board by rolling two six-sided dice to help them purchase and trade different properties to build houses, hotels, etc. Players are required to obtain rent from their opponents to push them into bankruptcy.
The square monopoly board contains a special layer sculptured onto it which aids you to identify all the spaces and locations of the properties. Even the cards are extra-large in size with braille and large prints.
Overall, the braille and low vision monopoly come with braille dice, braille cards, braille money, and braille game board, a perfect treat for blind or visually impaired individuals.
Checkers is a simple yet classic board game with multiple variations of it all around the world. Your objective in checkers is to eliminate all the pieces belonging to your opponent from the board or prevent them from executing a move. Pieces have to be moved diagonally, and remove the other pieces from the board while always staying on the dark boxes.
This adapted version of checkers is intended for use by blind or visually impaired people. It will help them in numerous ways by stimulating some useful skills such as excellent motor coordination, identification of different shapes, spatial orientation, tactile discrimination, etc.
The game board contains concave squares with twelve playing pieces of different shapes such as round and square, one shape for each player. Besides, each player will also own three more playing pieces that are called the kings.
Scrabble is a board and tile word game that requires two to four players who score points against each other by placing tiles on the game board. All players gain points by building words and setting the letter tiles on the board. The points are given based on the words that are built as each letter has a different point value.
The letter tiles contain tactile and braille labeling. On the other hand, the board also has tactile and braille labeling along with an overlay grid that prevents the tiles from shifting elsewhere on the board. It consists of hundred letter tiles, four tile racks, and a rotating game board.
The built-in rotation feature in the playing board will allow the players from all directions to easily access the board.
Chess is a competitive, strategic board game for two players. The square playing board comprises sixty-four smaller squares with eight squares in each row. The game begins with sixteen pieces on each side that include eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, one queen, and one king.
When chess is designed for the blind or visually impaired, it is made sure that all squares and pieces are easily differentiable by touch. There are a few tweaks that differentiate tactile chess sets from regular ones, such as all pieces of one color will have an identification mark on their tip and a projection at the base, which attaches itself to a small hole on each square of the board.
Many people with visual problems or blindness have proved that chess is more of a mind game than the game of the eyes.
Bananagrams is a fun word game that is quite similar to Scrabble yet different. The game requires each player to form their letter tiles into a grid of connected words in lesser time than their opponents’.
The goal is to complete a word grid at the end of a pool of tiles. The game has 144 letter tiles and got its name from its banana-shaped packaging. For the blind or visually impaired, the tiles have raised or tactile braille labeling that helps them build crossword grids and enjoy the game.
Tic-tac-toe, also called noughts and crosses, is a board game that is played by two people. The board consists of a 3×3 grid in which each player takes turns to arrange three of their marks in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row. The game requires the use of strategy, tactics, and observation.
For people with any sort of visual impairment or blindness, the tic-tac-toe boards are designed differently. The playing board includes nine holes arranged in a way that the top, middle, and bottom rows have three holes each. Five red playing pieces that are round in shape and five green playing pieces of square or cross shape are also present.
It can help improve a couple of cognitive skills in visually disabled people.
7. Snakes and Ladders
Snakes and Ladders, also known by the name of Chutes and Ladders, is a board game that requires two or more players. The game board consists of grids and numbers that help you move around the board from one square to another. There are several snakes or chutes and ladders drawn on the board that link two specific board squares.
Each player rolls a dice, and based on that, they take their game piece from the starting point, the bottom-most square, to the finishing point, which is the top-most square. The shortcuts on your way to the top are the ladders whereas, the snakes act as obstacles.
Tactile snakes and ladders game which is meant for blind and visually impaired, in which the playing board consists of snakes and ladders that are carved deep into the board surface.
Playing pieces have different shapes that help the players differentiate easily between them. The game is simple to play and can be a good source of entertainment for everyone.
This cross and circle board game is an American adaptation of the Indian game called Pachisi which requires two to four players. The playing board contains four corner areas that belong to each player, four home paths that lead to a central endpoint. Each player has four playing pieces, and usually, two dice are used to play the game.
The objective of the game is to travel all over the board, starting from your home or nest to the central endpoint. When you move all four pieces to the home position, you win the game.
For people who are blind or visually disabled, a suitable adaptation of Parcheesi is designed. Each square in the board game is marked in raised braille, and the playing pieces fit into the holes on each square to avoid unnecessary shifting of the pieces.
We have presented the eight best-adapted board games for visually impaired or blind individuals that will help them learn more skills, strategies, and problem-solving techniques. These adapted board games will also help them pass their time, enjoy with different people and enhance their social skills.