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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Providing Services to People Who Are Visually Impaired with Multiple Disabilities

Young adult in a wheelchair, smiling. Other classmates are visible in the background.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions)."

Disabilities can affect all aspects of a person's life, including:

  • Vision
  • Movement
  • Thinking
  • Remembering
  • Learning
  • Communicating
  • Hearing
  • Mental health
  • Social relationships

Often a person has more than one disability that affects multiple areas of life. The person may be a child who has autism spectrum disorder and visual impairment, or vision loss and a hearing impairment, or an older adult with co-morbidities. Children with visual and multiple disabilities vary greatly in their abilities, interests, capacity to use vision and other senses, family background, and personalities. This same is true for older adults.

This section will provide helpful information to professionals who are working with individuals with multiple disabilities whether it be employment, independent living, social and recreational program, or other activities.

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