Learner with Low Vision

Definition Use of low vision
Further information Teaching resources

Definition

The World Health Organisation defines low vision as follows:

A person with low vision is one who has impairment of visual functioning even after treatment and/or standard refractive correction, and has a visual acuity of less than 6/18 to light perception, or a visual field of less than 10 degree from the point of fixation, but who uses, or is potentially able to use, vision for planning and/or execution of a task.

Each student with low vision is unique and the visual information from a clinical assessment is not always the best predictor of the way a student will function in the classroom, out doors and in known and unknown environments.

Use of low vision

Student’s use of their remaining vision depends on a variety of factors including:

  • the nature and degree of the vision impairment (visual acuity, visual field, colour vision etc
  • the age of onset of the vision impairment
  • whether the vision impairment is stable or progressive
  • motivation to use remaining vision
  • emotional/psychological factors and cognitive abilities

The nature of the visual task and/or the nature of the object being viewed will also impact of the student’s ability to utilise their remaining vision including:

  • distance from the viewer
  • whether the object is stationary or moving
  • size, shape, complexity and position of the object
  • familiarity with the task or object
  • colour and contrast of the object and background
  • time available to the viewer for inspection of the object or completion of the task

A functional vision assessment will assist educators to determine the conditions under which the student’s visual functioning is optimised.

A learning media assessment will assist educators to determine the best medium for learning tasks – audio, braille, etext, large print.

Further information about the learner with low vision

Teaching resources