Understanding the Visually Impaired
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Understanding the visually impaired can help you connect with and communicate the disabled people you know in your family or meet in day-to-day life. Check out our video for information.
Transcript: For millions of visually impaired Americans, the most basic of everyday tasks can be anything but! Understanding...
For millions of visually impaired Americans, the most basic of everyday tasks can be anything but! Understanding these difficulties can help you provide empathetic assistance. There are 10 million Americans who are visually impaired, so it's likely that you will find yourself assisting or working with someone who has trouble seeing. Sight difficulties range across a broad spectrum, from a complete inability to see to basic color blindness. The term total blindness is used when an individual cannot perceive light or forms. Light sense blindness means that a person is able to sense the presence or lack of light, but not make out forms. Both of these types of visual impairments usually fall under the umbrella term "legally blind." A legally blind person has vision of twenty/two-hundred or less. That means that he or she would have to stand 20 feet from an object to see it with the same degree of clarity as a normally sighted person could from 200 feet away. Other types of seeing impairment include hand powered and index value blindness. A person with either of these disabilities will only be able to make out shadowy forms very close to their eyes. A defect of visual field can occur in any part of the eye and usually causes a person to have a "blind spot," or small area where they cannot see. The least severe form of sight disability is achromatopsia, [ey-kroh-muh-top-see-uh] commonly known as color blindness. Achromatopsia can be total color-blindness, red-green color blindness or blue-yellow color blindness. No matter what type of visual impairment a person has, the biggest challenge that most visually impaired people cite is walking-an act that most of us take for granted! A white cane is a universal symbol that indicates sight impairment. It also helps a blind person to collect information about his or her environment. Some visually impaired people also use sight dogs to assist them. It is important never to pet or feed a seeing-eye-dog as they are "on the job" all the time. If you encounter a blind person, it is polite to offer to help if they look like they need assistance. If they refuse, allow them to do so graciously, without pressing the issue. You may have noticed studded, yellow blocks in the pavement in your city or town. These blocks serve as guidance as a blind person walks, and as a caution at hazardous areas. Sometimes, a visually impaired person may need assistance finding these studded blocks. Feel free to provide this help if it seems necessary. When handling transactions with the sight disabled, be patient and keep in mind that they may need more time to count money or to locate belongings. Allow them this courtesy, remembering to keep your voice enthusiastic and offering help only as needed. Sight disabled people have many obstacles to overcome in daily life. But by being aware and offering a helping hand, you can help create a harmonious environment for everyone!More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
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