Visual Impairments

There are many kinds of visual problems. People who are blind have little or no useful vision. Legally, blindness can be defined in two ways:

  1. A person’s central visual acuity is 20/20 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction. In other words, a person can recognize objetcs at a distance of 20 feet that a person with normal vision can recognize at 200 feet.
  2. A person’s peripheral vision is severely restricted to an angle no greater than 20 degrees. In other words, a blind person with this problem can only see a very limited area at one time. He/she cannot make much practical use of his/her vision.

Partially sighted people have visual acuity between 2-/200 and 20/70 in the better eye. Many people with visual impairments have some remaining vision. These are typical terms:

  • Myopia – nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia – farsightedness
  • Astigmatism – a condition in which a person sees distorted images.
  • Cataracts – a condition in which there is clouding of the lens of the eye causing blurred vision
  • Glaucoma – a build-up of fluid behind the eye

Only one in 1000 people are legally blind.

Associated Links

BC Blind Sports
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Audio Vision Public Service
National Federation of the Blind
Advocacy – Everyone’s Responsibility

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