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Visual Impairments

Visual impairments range from the total absence of sight to the partially-sighted. A person with a visual impairment may be born blind or with limited sight. Others, may have acquired the impairment. Depending upon the amount of sight loss and when the sight loss occurs, the person will require varying degrees of assistance.

Legal Definitions

Partially Sighted - Visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye with best correction.

Blind - Corrected vision in the better eye of 20/200 or less or a field of vision that is restricted to 5 degrees or less at 20 feet.

Leader Tips

Meeting a person with a visual impairment:

Guiding a person with a visual impairment:

Materials for a person with a visual impairment:


Please note the University of Illinois Extension does not endorse any products advertised on the following internet sites. Also, the content of these internet links is subject to change, and thus their appropriateness as a resource may also change.

American Foundation for the Blind

National Braille Press

The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Source for fact sheet:
Sarkees-Wircenski, M., and Scott, J. L. (1995). Vocational special needs. Homewood, IL: American Technical Publishers, Inc.