What is visual impairment?

A visual impairment is a defect of sight where there is an eye disease, or damage to the eye, which influences the function of the eye. This can mean that a person is actually totally blind or partially sighted.

It is recommended to use the term “a person with visual impairment” rather than “a visually impaired person” as you are a person first, before your visual loss is identified.

On average, taken from WHO statistics,

5% of those deemed “legally blind” have no vision at all
15% of the visually impaired population have light perception
80% of individuals with a sight loss have some remaining (functional) sight

TOTAL BLINDNESS is the complete lack of sight, and is clinically recorded as NLP (no light perception).

BLINDNESS is identified as visual acuity of 6/60 or less in the better eye, with best correction possible. This means that objects seen at 60m with normal sight will only be identified by standing at 6m or closer, by someone with very poor vision.

In many countries, people with average acuity (what they can see) who have a field of vision 20 degrees or less (the norm being 180 degrees) are also identified as being blind.

LOW VISION – a person with low vision is one whose vision cannot be corrected after treatment or spectacles. Anyone with low vision can also be identified as partially sighted. Generally recognized as partially sighted vision is between 6/18 and 6/60 (6/6 being perfect vision).