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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Children and Youth with Vision Loss

Updated May 2018

Student population data

Data from the American Printing House for the Blind

Child population by gender

Data from the American Community Survey


Population (2016 APH Data)

According to the FY 2017 Annual Report from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), based upon data from January of 2016, there are approximately 63,657 U.S. children, youth, and adult students in educational settings who are legally blind.

Definition and scope: The students referred to range in age from 0-21 years as well as certain qualifying adult students and only include those students with vision loss that are legally blind. Legal blindness is a level of vision loss that has been defined by law to determine eligibility for benefits. It refers to explicitly to those who have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.

Data source: 2017 Annual Report: American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. http://www.aph.org/annual-reports. The American Printing House for the Blind maintains an annual register of legally blind persons in educational settings below the college level.
Read our brief resource guide to APH data.


Gender (2016 ACS Data)

According to the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS), there are approximately 502,191 children with vision difficulty in the U.S. According to the 2015 ACS, there are 270,270 girls and 231,921 boys under the age of 18 that have vision difficulty in the U.S.

Definition and scope: The children referred to range in age from 0-17 years and only include those children that have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses as well as those that are blind.

Data source: 2016 American Community Survey. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/
Read our brief resource guide to the ACS.


Population (2015 APH Data)

According to the 2016 Annual Report from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), based upon data from January of 2015, there are approximately 62,492 U.S. children, youth, and adult students in educational settings who are legally blind.

Definition and scope: The students referred to range in age from 0-21 years as well as certain qualifying adult students and only include those students with vision loss that are legally blind. Legal blindness is a level of vision loss that has been defined by law to determine eligibility for benefits. It refers to explicitly to those who have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.

Data source: 2016 Annual Report: American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. http://www.aph.org/annual-reports. The American Printing House for the Blind maintains an annual register of legally blind persons in educational settings below the college level.
Read our brief resource guide to APH data.


Gender (2015 ACS Data)

According to the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), there are approximately 539,696 children with vision difficulty in the U.S. According to the 2015 ACS, there are 260,247 girls and 279,449 boys under the age of 18 that have vision difficulty in the U.S.

Definition and scope: The children referred to range in age from 0-17 years and only include those children that have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses as well as those that are blind.

Data source: 2015 American Community Survey. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/
Read our brief resource guide to the ACS.


Population (2014 APH Data)

According to the 2015 Annual Report from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), based upon data from January of 2014, there are approximately 61,298 U.S. children, youth, and adult students in educational settings who are legally blind.

Definition and scope: The students referred to range in age from 0-21 years as well as certain qualifying adult students and only include those students with vision loss that are legally blind. Legal blindness is a level of vision loss that has been defined by law to determine eligibility for benefits. It refers to explicitly to those who have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.

Data source: 2015 Annual Report: American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. http://www.aph.org/annual-reports. The American Printing House for the Blind maintains an annual register of legally blind persons in educational settings below the college level.
Read our brief resource guide to APH data.


Gender (2014 ACS Data)

According to the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS), there were approximately 543,893 children with vision difficulty in the U.S. According to the 2015 ACS, there were 261,413 girls and 282,398 boys under the age of 18 that have vision difficulty in the U.S.

Definition and scope: The children referred to range in age from 0-17 years and only include those children that have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses as well as those that are blind.

Data source: 2014 American Community Survey. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/
Read our brief resource guide to the ACS.


These statistics and other information about the American Printing House Federal Quota Census, including data for years prior to 2014, are available in the Federal Quota section of the APH website.

These statistics and other information about the American Community Survey, including data for years prior to 2014, are available from American Fact Finder, a free web-based tool from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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