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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Driving+other problems

Hi, my name is Melinda and I'm 16 years old. I have 20/400 vision in my right eye+an astigmatism and permanent eye damage that alters my color vision and renders me unable to see at night. My left eye is fine for the most part and I just have near-sightedness (20/200 vision). My right eye is corrected to 20/80 vision with lenses, and my left is corrected to 20/40. Which is great, I'm glad I'm able to see..
But I'm supposed to get my permit soon. My eye doctor said I will most likely have restrictions to day-time only driving and I have to wear my lenses. I'm worried because my left eye is barely good enough for me to drive with lenses. If my eyesight gets worse in my left eye, I will not be able to legally drive, but I also won't be considered legally blind. I'm a bit frustrated because I will not have the privileges of a sighted person, nor the benefits of a person who is legally blind.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but can I still receive government help if my corrected vision isn't worse than 20/200? I already have difficulty getting around with my glasses and my parents have offered to buy me a cane and pay for me to learn Braille but we really don't have the money for that I just feel really bad for not being able to function like my other siblings..

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Re: Driving+other problems

That depends on where you live. In Canada, the laws differ according to the different provinces, and that is the same in the US (which is likely, most people on here seem to be from the US).

Some places will provide government help at 20/70, even though legal blindness status is 20/200.

Have you checked into the Hadley School for courses?

As for getting a cane, check with an Orientation and Mobility Instructor before purchasing. They can help you get the correct type and length, and they should know which government progams may help for funding.

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