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National Accessibility Week: Busting Myth #2

By Linda Bartram

Myth # 2: If someone is blind, they can’t see anything at all.

Untrue!! Very few people who are blind (under 20%) live in total darkness. Most can perceive something, be it light, colour or form. People who are considered "legally blind" have 10% or less of 20/20 vision. Some individuals may also have full sight but only in a very limited field.  This is like looking through a narrow tube. 

Legal blindness covers the full spectrum of vision loss, from functional but limited vision, to total blindness. Some people can see fairly well in daylight, but virtually nothing at night.  Others may be able to navigate around, but not see well enough to read anything except very large print. And others may see a spec of lint on your shoulder, but trip over a large box on the floor. If they have some functional residual vision, some individuals who are legally blind may identify as partially sighted or visually impaired rather than blind. 

All this can be very confusing, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is a reason you need to know. But don’t ask if it's just out of curiosity. Some blind folks will feel this is an invasion of their privacy.

IMAGE ALT TEXT: Sunset with mountains


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