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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Blindness and Low Vision: An Introduction

There are approximately 10 to 11 million blind and visually impaired people in North America, and their visual abilities vary almost as much as their ethnic, racial, and personal characteristics do. The term "visual impairment" covers a wide range and variety of vision, from blindness and lack of usable sight; to low vision, which cannot be corrected to normal vision with standard eyeglasses or contact lenses; to moderate visual impairment and an inability to read the fine print in a daily newspaper.

People who are visually impaired, like everyone else, pursue a great range of interests and careers and participate in the full gamut of daily activities. They may need to receive training in various adaptive techniques in order to do so, and educational and other services and products are designed and available for this purpose.

This section of the AFB web site offers general information about blindness and low vision and descriptions of common causes of visual impairments; suggestions on how to perform a variety of daily activities with impaired vision and where to get special assistance; and statistics on visual impairment.

For more detail about any of these topics, see the other topics in the Information section of AFB's web site:

Access to Information and the Environment
Advocacy and Governmental Activities
Aging and Vision Loss
Education
Employment
Literacy
Technology
Events and Activities at AFB

Click here for information about organizations and available services in the blindness field.

For AFB Press titles of related interest, see the AFB Bookstore.

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