When Are You Considered to Be Legally Blind?

Ian C. Langtree Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2019/10/05 - Updated: 2024/04/05
Publication Type: Informative
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Information and definitions in regards to legal blindness, low vision, total blindness and lack of visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors. In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible. Blindness is also defined as visual acuity of less than 3/60, or corresponding visual field loss to less than 10 degrees, in the better eye with best possible correction.

Introduction

Approximately ten percent of those deemed legally blind, by any measure, have no vision. The rest have some vision, from light perception alone to relatively good acuity. Low vision is sometimes used to describe visual acuities from 20/70 to 20/200.

Main Digest

Blindness is defined as the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors. Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define blindness:

In order to determine which people may need special assistance because of their visual disabilities, various governmental jurisdictions have formulated more complex definitions referred to as legal blindness.

Basic labeled diagram of the human eye.
Basic labeled diagram of the human eye.

Legal Blindness

In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible. This means that a legally blind individual would have to stand 20 feet (6 m) from an object to see it with the same degree of clarity as a normally sighted person could from 200 feet (60 m).

In many areas, people with average acuity who nonetheless have a visual field of less than 20 degrees (the norm being 180 degrees) are also classified as being legally blind.

Approximately ten percent of those deemed legally blind, by any measure, have no vision. The rest have some vision, from light perception alone to relatively good acuity.

Low Vision

Low vision is sometimes used to describe visual acuities from 20/70 to 20/200. By the 10th Revision of the WHO International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death, low vision is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/18, but equal to or better than 3/60, or corresponding visual field loss to less than 20 degrees, in the better eye with best possible correction.

Is Being Visually Impaired the Same as Legally Blind?

You may also be interested in performing a home eye test with our Printable Snellen Eye Chart.

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2019, October 5). When Are You Considered to Be Legally Blind?. Disabled World. Retrieved May 20, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/vision/legally-blind.php

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