Visual Impairment

After living with my vision loss for two decades, I find myself living my life positively and productively.

Joan Brock, taken from Joan Brock More Than Meets The Eye


Students with visual impairment are described in Department of Education and Skills (DES) circulars as having a visual disability that is so serious as to impair significantly their capacity to see, thus interfering with their capacity to perceive visually presented materials such as pictures, diagrams and the written word. Some will have been diagnosed as suffering from such conditions as albinism, cataracts, congenital blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, etc. Most are described as requiring the use of low-vision aids and of availing of the services of a Visiting Teacher. The category is not intended to include students whose visual difficulties are satisfactorily corrected by the wearing of glasses and/or contact lenses.

Students with visual impairment may display comprehension difficulties, have poor organisational skills, fail to complete assignments and experience difficulty staying on-task. Most students described as having visual impairment are, in fact, partially sighted and can function in the school situation with the assistance of low-vision aids. Those who have deteriorating minimal residual vision or who are totally blind may need to read and write through the medium of Braille.

Photo of braille on a page