Understanding Vision Loss/Visual Impairment
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vision loss occurs when a person’s eyesight is not corrected to a “normal” level. Some babies are born without the ability to see and vision loss can occur at any time during a person’s lifetime. Vision loss or visual impairment varies greatly and can be caused by many things, including damage to the eye itself or even a problem in the brain.1
Sight and visual clues are important to a developing baby and vision loss/vision impairment can affect how a child understands and functions in the world. Vision loss/vision impairment can also affect a child’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development.2
Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a fact sheet about vision loss/visual impairment. It is also available en español (scroll down page).
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides information specific to children with low vision/visual impairment.
The Lighthouse Guild provides information and resources on visual impairments and blindness.
- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Services for the Blind provides information to help blind and visually impaired people be more independent.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vision Health Initiative (VHI) collaborates with state and national partners in the attempt to create a more effective multilevel network for vision loss prevention and eye health promotion.
- The National Federation of the Blind has information and resources to assist those with low vision/vision impairment.
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology has created a resource guide entitled Living With Low Vision.
- The North Carolina Low Vision Task Force has created a Directory of Vision Services for North Carolina residents.
Advocacy and Social Connections
- To connect with other parents/families who have a child with vision loss/visual impairment, contact the Family Support Network™ of North Carolina.
The Lighthouse Guild provides resources to parents, including online support groups.
- Prevent Blindness America is dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight.
Family Connect provides information on how parents can advocate for their child who is blind or visually impaired
- Family Connect is a community that links parents of children who have visual impairment.
Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?
Contact a Resource Specialist at 1-800-852-0042 or FSP.CDR@unc.edu
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Vision Loss Fact Sheet. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/parents_pdfs/VisionLossFactSheet.pdf