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by Ken Dockter, Adult Program Coordinator

How can a person sweep a floor if they are low vision or blind? This is a great question and a task that needs to be completed when cleaning the house. A technique that works quite well is the clock method, also known as the rainbow pattern. When a person uses this technique, they should use an upright boom, not a push broom. First, take the broom and sweep around the edges of the room, pulling the dirt out from the corners. Once this is completed, stand a few feet away from the walls in front of you and on the side of you, making sure that you can reach all the way to the wall in front of you and to your left side, with the broom.

Now it is time to start sweeping. Take the broom to the 9:00 position (on your left) and sweep towards the top of your toes. Return the broom to the 10:00 position and again bring the broom to your toes. It is important not to move your feet as you will keep sweeping from 9:00 to 3:00, or in a rainbow pattern, bringing all of the dirt towards your toes. Once you have completed the entire rainbow pattern, place the broom at the top of your toes on the floor. Now take a step or two back and bring the dirt back to your toes. Repeat the pattern of sweeping from 9:00 to 3:00, or in a rainbow pattern, bringing all the dirt to your toes. When you get to the edge of the room, you can sweep the dirt into a dustpan. 

Next, move back up to where you started, take a step to the right, and start the process again. A person can cover the entire room with this method. This is a great method of sweeping and works quite well. A person may need to practice a few times but soon it will become easier and second nature.    

For more information on this method or other daily living skills, reach out to Ken Dockter, kdockter@nd.gov or 701-795-2724.

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