When most sighted people think “blindness,” they think of a world in total blackness. But, this is far from accurate. A variety of eye diseases, genetic disorders, and birth defects, as well as aging or suffering an injury, can interfere with healthy vision. And these visual impairments don’t all “look” the same.
For example, here is what 4 different types of blindness might look like:
People who experience total darkness all the time have “total blindness” whereas those who may be able to see some light, colors, and/or shapes are commonly referred to as having “low vision.” You might have a blind or blurry spot in the middle of your field of vision. Or your peripheral vision may be impaired. Or maybe, your visual impairment may be one, or a unique combination, of a myriad of other possibilities. Therefore, blindness is a spectrum of visual impairments affecting millions of children and adults worldwide.
CVI: The leading cause of blindness in children
Cortical/cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is the leading cause of blindness in children today.
What many kids with CVI see (No two kids are exactly the same):
What most people see:
Often, people associate blindness with ocular — or eye — impairment. However, CVI is neurological. For kids with CVI, the eye’s connection to and in the brain doesn’t work correctly. There isn’t a cure for CVI, but a child’s ability to use his or her vision may improve with the right assessment and educational programming.
This is why Perkins is hard at work designing new ways to teach kids who have CVI. And, we’re dedicated to supporting their parents, educating teachers, and collaborating with experts to reach more kids with CVI where they are today.
To help us reach these families and to help them reach each other, we created CVI Now, a website and Facebook Group to help families understand CVI, learn how to help their children every day, and find other families who share their experience.