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Definition of Visual Impairment

Visual (Vision) Impairment is a reduction in vision – usually associated with age – that cannot be corrected by prescription glasses, contact lenses, medicine or even surgery.  It can range from low to severe.  In effect, a person diagnosed with visual impairment has difficulty fulfilling his/her regular daily functions.  Visual impairment typically calls for a change in lifestyle and a solid support system.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued the following classifications of visual impairment:

  • Mild Vision Loss or Near-Normal Vision – 20/30 to 20/60
  • Moderate Visual Impairment – 20/70 to 20/160
  • Severe Visual Impairment – 20/200 to 20/400
  • Profound Visual Impairment – 20/500 to 20/1000
  • Near-Total Visual Impairment – less than 20/1000
  • Total Visual Impairment – no light perception at all