Record Keeping

Access Your Financial Information with a Computer

Thanks to online banking, the tasks of managing finances, keeping track of bank accounts, paying bills, and reviewing bank statements have become more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. Many banks now offer separate "pages" on their websites with specific instructions for users with screen readers.

In addition to your bank account, you can also access utility bills, credit card statements, and other accounts online. These online services give you the ability to review your monthly bills and manage your finances independently.

Use A Commercial Ledger

Commercial check ledgers are available at most stationary stores and come in various sizes of large print. However, most large print ledgers provide writing spaces that range from 1/2" to 1" high, which may not be large enough for your reading and writing needs.

Design Your Own Ledger

You can make your own check ledger by using a three-ring notebook and plain paper. Use each page to write as large as you need to track the check number, amount, and balance brought forward.

Organizing Mail, Bills, and Documents

Try some of these organizational hints for mail, catalogs, bills, and documents:

  • Identify a trusted friend or family member to help you read and sort your mail.
  • Commit to reading, sorting, and filing all new papers once a week or at a regularly scheduled time.
  • Designate a specific drawer in the kitchen or a basket on the counter to hold your mail.
  • Create a designated location for pieces of mail that are most likely bills and letters.
  • To sort your mail, use file folders in different colors or sizes, large/medium-sized manila envelopes, or in/out stacking trays.
  • Larger catalogs and magazines are usually easy to distinguish from regular-sized envelopes.
  • Advertisements often come in odd-sized envelopes, but if you are in doubt, place these in the same location as your bills and letters and ask your reader to sort through them with you.
  • The choice of system is yours, but try to be consistent when setting up and using whatever mail organization system you select.
  • Invest in a simple paper shedder. Shred all "throw-away" documents, especially those that include your name, address, Social Security number, or financial information.
  • Shred and purge documents, bills, and papers that are more than seven years old.
  • Consider keeping one-of-a-kind documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies, in a locked fire-safe box.
  • Give duplicates of important documents to a family member or use a safety deposit box at your bank.

Personal Stories

  • Amy Bovaird: Mobility Matters
    As a person with retinitis pigmentosa, "Mobility matters. It allows me to join the rest of society, follow my interests and passion, and reconnect with my love for traveling. I don't have to stay at home fearing the dark anymore. I can live independently."

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