Picking Up Dropped Objects Safely and Efficiently

Being able to pick up dropped objects both safely and efficiently can be a challenge for someone who is blind or visually impaired. However, learning a systematic approach to picking up a dropped object can help make both locating and safely picking up an object easier. I believe this is a very important skill to master in particular for safety. A client recalled to me once that he went to pick up an object that fell under his coffee table and he hit his head causing a gash that required an emergency room visit and stitches.

I hope that a similar situation wouldn’t happen to anyone else. One skill that is important for picking up an object safely is the upper protective technique. If you need a refresher you can check out my video here.

Now for the steps on how to properly implement the picking up dropped object technique:

Step 1: Note the general location of the sound that the dropped object makes. After having a general idea where the object landed now turn one’s body towards the object before moving in that direction.

Step 2: Walk towards the object but aim a little short of the object. If one passes the object it will be much harder to locate.

Step 3: Bend down to pick up the object. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Go into a squat position bending at the kness and not the waist. This will help to keep the head protected from injury.  This technique should only be done if the person has the flexibility, strength, and balance to perform a squat safely.
  2. Go into a one knee kneeling position. And when reaching for the object perform the upper protective technique to protect one’s face.
  3.  Last resort- Bending at the waist. This way of picking up an object has the greatest risk of injury of the three techniques. If a person bends down in this way they must use the upper protective technique to protect their head and face.

Step 4: Perform a systematic search pattern to locate the object. I like to go from left to right starting closer to my body than moving out.

Spending time to practice this technique is worth it. It can mean the difference between finding an object safely and efficiently or not. If you are interested in an audible/video description you can click here.

Published by Mike Mulligan

Is a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist who provides product resources, reviews, and tutorials.

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