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Activity and strategy

Making Our Mudroom Accessible

The mother of children who are blind tells how she used braille labels to make the family mudroom accessible to the whole family.

We have six children and a ridiculous number of coats, hats, and shoes. When we bought this house 6 years ago I was thrilled to finally have a mudroom!
Then we adopted Anelia in 2014 (fully blind from ROP) and Mabel in 2016 (anophthalmia and microphthalmia) and my mudroom became an inaccessible mess! I think I’ve finally conquered the mess! Make no mistake, my children who can see expect braille on all their materials just like their sisters who can’t see. Braille is truly a family affair in our house.
a young girl's hand is guided to the braille label on her basket that holds her hats and gloves       a young girl hanging her coat a hook labeled with her name in braille and by a tactile symbol
Now when Anelia and Olive come in from outside play (with their big brother Gaelan) they can find their basket and place their gloves and hats inside. Anelia can now find the spot for her jacket and hang it up. My mudroom is surely still a mess, but at least now everyone can find their jacket and hat!
  • bench with room underneath
  • individual baskets
  • labels for the baskets
  • tactile symbols
  • foam
  • tacky glue
  • yarn
  • twistie ties
  1. I purchased a bench with room underneath for individual baskets for hats and gloves.  (I only have to do this for my four children 10 and under since I assume my two adult sons can find their own gloves!)  All were purchased at IKEA.

baskets labeled with braille that are filled with hats and gloves


  1. I labeled each basket for each child with a tactile symbol (favorite colors for the ones that can see) and their name in braille and print. (I include the print, as well as the braille, for all of the children, so that the labels will be accessible to everyone.)  I used a piece of foam to affix the texture to (some were from APH’s Carousel of Textures kit) and the braille/print name.  

basket labels with braille and tactile symbols

  1. Then I sewed them onto the baskets with yarn. (I would have used twisty ties if I had had any in the house!)  Now they nestle under the bench, so each child can dress independently and reach down for their basket.  I placed them in age descending order.  

a needle threaded with yellow yarn, a pair of scissors, and supplies to make tactile labels for the baskets

  1. I used the same foam to attach the same texture square and the first initial of each child above our lower coat rack. These I glued right to the wall (sorry hubby!) with tacky glue. I used the APH braille stickers for the first letter of each child’s name.  And I used my braille label maker to mark the area with “jackets.” Again I placed them in age descending order.

braille letter stickers and tactile objects to make labels for the baskets


My next project is to make a rail with pegs to hang all our canes on! 

five canes lined up against a wall

3-D symbols that include a the laundry room is a hook, the school store is a couple of gold coins, and the student’s classroom is a number 3, the first number in his classroom number.
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