By: Carmen Willings
Updated November 12, 2015
A child with a visual impairment is one whose vision, even with correction, adversely impacts a child's educational performance. Examples are children whose visual impairments may result from congenital defects, eye diseases, or injuries to the eye. There are few people who are considered completely blind as many people who are classified as "blind" still have usable vision.
The World Health Organization uses the following classifications of visual impairment. When the vision in the better eye with BEST POSSIBLE glasses correction is:
There are also levels of vision loss that are based on visual field loss (loss of peripheral vision). In the United States, a person who has a remaining visual field loss of 20 degrees or less is considered legally blind.
You may wonder what to do when the student's vision cannot be corrected to 20/20 but they are found to not meet the eligibility criteria for school based vision services. Other school personnel and/or specialists may be able to address the students unique visual and learning needs. A reading specialist may be contacted to work on reading and learning disabilities. An occupational therapist and a physical therapist may address concerns of eye hand coordination and vision perception difficulties. Be assured that even if a student does not meet the eligibility for school based vision services, they can still receive the accommodations they need to be successful in school.
Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.