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A vision disability can range from difficulty seeing even with contacts or glasses to not being able to see at all. Some eye conditions that can cause a visual disability are cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and infection. One or both eyes can be affected.

A vision loss is one that cannot be corrected with glasses. Visual problems may occur within one or both eyes and can be caused by an injury or from a condition of the brain or nervous system.

Types of vision impairments are:

  • Partial Sight. People who are partially sighted have vision impairments that can be corrected with glasses or contacts. Some may have trouble seeing far away (myopia), while others may have difficulty seeing close objects (hyperopia).
  • Low Vision. People with low vision have vision impairments that cannot be fully corrected by aids like glasses or contacts. They will not be able to read the newspaper at a normal distance, even with the help such aids.
  • Legally Blind. Being legally blind means testing lower than a 20/200 on an eye chart test. In other words, you would have to stand at a distance of 20 feet to see what people normally can see at 200 feet.
  • Cortical Blindness. Cortical blindness is a visual impairment that is due to a problem in the brain not with the eye or structures around the eye. How much a person can or cannot see will depend on the degree of damage to the brain or nerves that lead to the eye.

People in the News

Nancy Stevens

Nancy Stevens is a triathlete who won three gold medals at the 1998 Olympic trials. She has been blind since birth but she is able to be an athlete with the help of a sighted guide when she is running, swimming or cycling. She has cycled over 3000 miles across America.

Nancy started Tri It Camp for other blind female athletes. They also work with sighted guides and learn to run with a tether, ride a tandem bicycle and swim with a bungee cord.

Learn more about Nancy