Man with fireworks
People Technology

Experiencing Fireworks as a Visually Impaired Person

by Jessica Minneci

Fireworks going off over a city skyline

One of the best things about the Fourth of July is seeingthe fireworks at night, that is, if you can see them. I’m visually impaired, soI can’t enjoy fireworks in the same way as everyone else, but that doesn’t meanI have to stay at home. I’ve been lucky enough to have family and friends whoencouraged me to come with them to firework shows and who also describedeverything that was happening. This Fourth of July, make fireworks displays funfor everyone by following my list of tips for describing fireworks to peoplewho are blind or visually impaired.

How to Describe the Fireworks

Sit close to your friend who is blind or visually impaired.Do your best to make sure that they can hear you over the sound of thefireworks.

When the show starts, make sure that you describe everythingin real-time. Tell them what is happening exactly as it is happening.

Describe the color of each firework, how bright it is, andhow fast it’s moving.

Demonstrate the size of the firework by putting your handsover your companion’s hands and moving them apart to fit the dimensions of thefirework.

Make your descriptions fun and engaging. Instead of saying,”There’s a red one coming,” say, “Ooh! A neon red firework iswhizzing by in front of us! It’s shaped like a star!”

Keep yourself and the person you are describing the show toguessing. Say something like, “There are white sparks dancing across thesky. What color do you think the next firework is going to be?” This gamehelps the two of you bond and become more invested in the show unfolding in thenight sky.

Think of others as you celebrate the Fourth of July this year.If you have a family member or friend who is blind or visually impaired, introduce them to a great American traditionby taking them to and describing fireworks displays!

Jessica Minneci is a marketing associate at APH.

A creative writing major in college, she is a free-verse poet and aspiring
novelist who enjoys spending time with her guide dog Joyce.

Stan Greenwood
A humble human, who is always found working on something or drinking coffee. A perfect introvert who talks barely anything but shares a lot through his blog posts at FredForum.

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