Visual disabilities and instruction

When sight is impaired, it can have a detrimental effect on a child's physical, neurological, and emotional development. Legal blindness is defined as visual acuity in both eyes of less than 20/200 or a visual field of less than 20 degrees despite the best correction with glasses. The overall incidence of blindness in children is 1 in 3000; 46% of these children were born blind, and an additional 38% lost their sight before 1 year of age. Among children who are blind, approximately 25% are totally blind, 25% have some light perception, and the remaining 50% may have enough vision to read enlarged type. In childhood, the causes of blindness are many and varied. Blindness can be an isolated disability or part of a condition involving multiple disabilities. About half of children who are totally blind have other developmental disabilities. Even with typical intelligence, a child who is blind from birth or early childhood is developmentally delayed. However, if visual loss is identified early, various methods of treatment and education improve developmental outcomes.

People related to the topic: Visual disabilities and instruction

Daniel H Ashmead, Ph.D.
Professor of Hearing & Speech Sciences, Emeritus

Amy Needham, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of Psychology and Human Development

John J Rieser, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Emeritus

Rachel Schles, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of the Practice, Department of Special Education; Coordinator, Visual Disabilities Track

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