Updated: Dec 16, 2021
A condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions, namely:
Total absence of sight; or visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (Snellen) in the better eye even with correction lenses; Limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse.
Under the age of 16, blindness in a child can be defined as visual acuity of < 3/60 which means that they cannot see something 3 meters (10 feet) away, which another child could see if it were 60 meters (200 feet) away.
Some causes may include:
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Uncorrected refractive error
Children with Visual Impairments
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1.4 million children in the world are visually disabled.
India is home to 20% of the world's visually impaired. Nearly 1.6 million children are either completely blind or are partially visually impaired.
Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act 2016, requires conformity to accessibility standards and universal design for full inclusion of persons with blindness in society.
The Act defines communication to include languages, display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia as well as written, audio, plain-language, human-reader and augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information & communication technology.
The Act defines universal design as the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design and as being applicable to assistive devices including advanced technologies for particular groups of persons with disabilities.
Rehabilitation of visually impaired children needs more attention, specifically in the areas of prevention and management.
A major challenge people with blindness face is that of education.
Organizations like the National Association for the Blind, Perkins Organization, Indian Association for the Blind and other similar organizations are ensuring equitable learning opportunities and rehabilitation.
We urge you to do your bit as well. Take our inclusivity pledge and learn how you can help.
Explaining visual impairments to children
Giving children accurate information is necessary to clear misconceptions and help them treat others with kindness and respect. This is a simplified summary that can be used with children.
Children may be blind by birth or vision problems may occur due to an illness or an accident. Children with blindness may be able to see partially or may be completely blind. Some children may benefit from glasses and others will not. Children who are blind benefit from learning in Braille. It is a specialized system that helps children read independently. Children who are blind can read, learn, and play, but with some modifications and support from teachers and parents.