What Does it Mean to be Visually Impaired?

Visual Impairment is defined as having a vision problem that cannot be corrected to bring it to a level that we would consider “normal.” The most extreme case of visual impairment, of course, is blindness. When one’s eyes aren’t that severe, but are still impaired, it is referred to as Low Vision. Approximately 1.3 billion people world-wide are living with some form of visual impairment. In Canada, approximately six percent of adults are visually impaired. But what do we know about visual impairment?

What does it mean to be Legally Blind?

Legally Blind vs Totally Blind. What is the Difference?

There are a number of ways to describe vision. 20/20 is the common way of describing optimum vision, although it is merely a term used to describe what the average person should be able to see at 20 feet. Visual impairment can be used to describe a number of conditions that keep you from having less than ideal vision. But what does Legally Blind mean? How does Legally Blind differ from Totally Blind?

What is the Definition of Legally Blind?

What does 20/20 Vision Mean?

20/20 is a term commonly used as the definition of perfect eyesight. But is that really what it means? Actually, it is much more complicated than that.  In fact, even the term perfect, isn’t that easily defined when it comes to your vision.

Visual Acuity

In 1862, Herman Snellen developed a system for measuring the sharpness of vision, known as visual acuity. The system measures your ability to see letters or numbers on a chart at a prescribed distance, generally 20 feet.  The measurement system is known as Snellen fractions and read as: 20/20, 20/40, 20/60, etc. Using this measurement system, a person with 20/20 vision would be considered as having “normal” vision, meaning that they can see letters and numbers at 20 feet that they average person should be able to see at 20 feet. A person with 20/200 would be considered legally blind.