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Definition of Visual Impairment

Visual (Vision) Impairment is a reduction in vision - usually associated with age - that cannot be corrected by prescription glasses, contact lenses, medicine or even surgery.  It can range from low to severe.  In effect, a person diagnosed with visual impairment has difficulty fulfilling his/her regular daily functions.  Visual Impairment typically calls for a change in lifestyle and a solid support system.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued the following classifications of visual impairment:

- Mild Vision Loss or Near-Normal Vision - 20/30 to 20/60

- Moderate Visual Impairment - 20/70 to 20/160

- Severe Visual Impairment - 20/200 to 20/400

- Profound Visual Impairment - 20/500 to 20/1000

- Near-Total Visual Impairment - less than 20/100

- Total Visual Impairment - no light perception at all



Sources:  Medical Dictionary & National Institute of Medicine

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Lions Center for the Visually Impaired

175 Alvarado Avenue, Pittsburg, CA 94565

925.432.3013 or info@LCVI.org