Vision Impairment: An Overview

Our Vision Impairment Center makes sure that your loved one that is vision impaired has the proper tools they need so that they can continue to reach their goals and their full potential.

The term “Vision Impairment” refers to both partial sight and blindness. It is an abnormality of the optic nerve, the eyes, or the visual center for the brain that results in decreased visual acuity. 
Visual impairment is the functional limitation of the eye(s) or the vision system. This leads to:

  • Loss of visual acuity and inability of the person to see objects as clearly as a healthy person
  • Loss of visual field, meaning inability of an individual to see as wide an area as the average person without moving the eyes or turning the head
  • Photophobia – an inability to look at light
  • Diplopia – double vision
  • Visual distortion or distortion of images
  • Visual perceptual difficulties or difficulties of perception
  •  Or any combination of the above features

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Low Visual Acuity

A Snellen’s chart measures visual acuity in degrees. It consists of random letters and numbers of various sizes set at a distance of 6 feet. The best possible vision is 6/6. Visual field is the width of the vision without moving or turning the head. 

The CDC and the World Health Organization suggest that when a person has low visual acuity, their vision ranges between 20/70 and 20/400 with the best possible correction, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.


Blindness, or complete vision loss, is a visual acuity worse than 20/400 with the best possible correction. This means a visual field of 10 degrees or less. Legal blindness in the US means visual acuity of 20/200 or worse with the best possible correction, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less. Anyone with blindness or LVA can still have a rewarding life.

Vision Impairment Center
Jordan Delcros via Wikimedia Commons

Causes of Vision Impairment

Causes of vision impairment include eye damage, failure of the brain to receive and read the visual cues sent by the eyes, and many more reasons. Underlying diseases may also cause visual impairment. The most common cause is diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, formation of cataracts, and raised pressure within the eyes leading to glaucoma.

Although vision impairment can occur at any point in life, it is more common among the elderly. It can even be inherited, manifesting at birth or in childhood in such cases. Common conditions are retinitis pigmentosa and genetic or developmental abnormalities. Children that are partially or completely impairment are developmentally delayed, especially in gross and fine motor skills. Visually impaired adults struggle with gainful employment and day to day activities. However, they still find ways to have fun and live meaningfully. 

How ACT’s Vision Impairment Center can Help

For children or adults with vision problems, prompt diagnosis and early treatment are very necessary. Depending on the cause and degree of the person’s visual impairment, we will decide on management.  Early intervention programs for children with vision loss might include:

  •  Visual aids
  • Occupational therapy to help with learning activities of daily living, fine motor skills and age appropriate play.
  • Orientation and mobility training (O&M) which helps a child learn such things like Sensory awareness, which is gaining information about the world through hearing, smell, and touch
  • Spatial concepts: realizing that objects exist even if not heard or felt, and understanding the relationships which exist between objects in the environment
  • Searching skills: locating items or places efficiently
  • Independent movement: (for babies) this includes crawling, rolling and walking

Enroll Now in Classes at Our Visual Impairment Center

Achievement Center of Texas has many students that are visually impaired. We have plenty of space to accommodate all of your individual needs and goals. Click the button below to begin the enrollment process.

Donate Now to Help Our Vision Impairment Center

If you're not ready to enroll your loved one into our vision impairment center, please donate so that we can continue offering the best services to each individual student.  We want to cater to everyone's unique goals and aspirations. This is only made possible through donations from people like you who care. Please click the button below to begin the donation process.