Screen Readers Skip to Content
Tweet Facebook Buffer

When Are You Legally Blind

Author: Disabled World : Contact: Disabled World (www.disabled-world.com)

Published: 2019-10-05 : (Rev. 2020-10-05)

Synopsis and Key Points:

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.

Main Digest

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.

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.

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

Related Documents


Important:

Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.

Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.