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World Sight Day: Vision first

Bringing awareness to visual impairments and blindness

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Tuesday in October. The event is currently led by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness under the VISION2020 global initiative. Throughout the world 36 million individuals are blind, and 217 million individuals have a moderate or severe vision impairment (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, 2015). In honor of World Sight Day, the New England Consortium on Deafblindness is sharing information regarding three different types of visual impairments.

Cortical Visual Impairment

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is a neurological impairment that affects a child’s vision. This type of visual impairment is caused by damage to any part of the brain that relates to visual processing. Children with CVI do not typically have ocular irregularities, although CVI may be seen with other disorders such as Strabismus. CVI occurs at a high rate among children with multiple disabilities, children with Cerebral Palsy, and children with developmental disabilities.

Diagnosis:

Teaching strategies:

Coloboma of the eye

Coloboma of the eye is a defect in the structure of the eye that is present from birth (common in individuals with CHARGE Syndrome). A coloboma is caused when issues occur during the development of the eyeball. Colobomas can occur on one or both eyes and can occur within different parts of the eye including the iris, lens, optic nerve, eyelid, or retina.

Diagnosis:

Implications:

Curriculum Adaptations:

Usher syndrome

Usher Syndrome is a genetic disorder with partial or total hearing loss and vision loss that progresses over time. Infants born with Usher Syndrome are born deaf or with a partial hearing loss, and the loss of vision occurs during childhood or adolescence. Vision loss occurs as progressive loss within the visual field, resulting in tunnel vision. In addition to hearing and vision loss, Usher Syndrome can cause serious balance issues.

Types of Usher syndrome:

Educational strategies:

Sources: https://nei.nih.gov/faqs/cortical-visual-impairment-cvi; https://www.tsbvi.edu/component/content/article/132-syndromes/3267; http://www.familyconnect.org/info/after-the-diagnosis/browse-by-condition/coloboma/123

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