Dear Izzy is an anonymous advice column that offers solutions to everyday challenges for people with vision loss.
I am having problems pouring liquids into my glass and coffee cup. I frequently over-fill the glass or miss the cup altogether. My friend suggested that I pour while holding the cup over the sink, but I find this very awkward. Can you help me?
Crying Over Spilled Milk
Dear Crying Over Spilled Milk,
I have several solutions that you may find useful. Firstly, I would suggest increasing your ability to see the liquid filling the cup or glass by using contrast whenever possible. Pour light-coloured liquids into a dark glass or cup and dark-coloured liquids into a white glass or cup. For example, milk can be poured into a dark glass and coffee into a white cup. In addition, the white cup can be placed on a black tray to increase contrast and the rim of the tray will prevent spills. Everyone spills at some point, sighted or not!
It can be very difficult to pour over the sink since you must bring two objects into contact in midair. Place the cup in the centre of the tray. Bring the spout of the teapot or coffee carafe in contact with the rim of the glass or cup. Before you start pouring, reach over with your free index finger to ensure that the spout is in the correct location. This is especially important if you have problems with depth perception as you may think the spout is in the correct location when actually it is not.
You can now place that same index finger inside the cup. When the liquid comes up and touches your fingertip, stop pouring. Of course, this method of pouring works only for cold liquids. If the liquid is hot you would stop pouring as soon as you feel the heat. Or you may like to use a liquid level indicator (available from Shop CNIB). A liquid level indicator is a small matchbox-sized device that rests on the rim of the glass. It has two prongs that reach into the cup. When the liquid comes up and touches the prongs, the device emits a beeping sound. People who are hard of hearing can purchase a liquid level indicator that vibrates.
If you would like to learn additional tips for pouring hot and cold liquids or other meal preparation activities, contact your local CNIB office.
If you would like to submit an independent living skills question to Izzy, please send an email to email@example.com. Your question may be answered in a future CNIB blog.