For every human, vision is one of the most precious gifts given to us by nature. It acquaints us with our surroundings. However, due to muscle weakness (myopathy), nutritional deficiencies, injury or disease, one may permanently (total blindness) or partially suffer from vision deficiency.In 1934, American Medical Association passed a law which states that a legally blind person is one who has visual acuity of 20/200. Such people has visual field less than 20 degrees.
Legal blindness is a condition in which a person has not lost all his vision but has very limited eyesight. He or she faces problems while performing regular activities. A legally blind person can olnly see things lying within 20 feet, whereas a person with perfect vision can perfectly see the same objects from a distance of 2000 feet. There are two simple ways of expressing legal blindness. If the vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 with the help of corrctive lenses, it is termed as legally blind. Moreover, any person suffering from loss of side (peripheral) vision is too considered legally blind.
The United States Government has standardized the definition of legally blind and offers special priviledges tailor-made for them. Based on certain parameters , the government selects legally blind people and provides special facilities like financial aid, technological and medical help to further ease the routine life.The US Government restricts legally blind people from driving vehicle at night, and limits driving speed by 5 to 10 miles per hour. While driving, they are insisted to use vision aids.
Due to limited vision, legally blind individuals face lot of problems in their daily life. Most people carry white cane or use dog as guide while travelling or walking on roadsides. Besides, they are more prone to fatal accidents. Crossing a street, or driving a vehicle in foggy or stormy conditions can indeed proves fatal to them. Such individuals must avoid travelling alone on long distance tour. Technological advances have made it possilble for such people to work on computer or reading. But for this they need to take proper training and learn the script specially meant for their use.
A legally blind person faces problem in performing even simple daily chores like cleaning, cooking, doing laundry or taking care of self. Different blind schools teach them to read with optical aids and travel without canes or dogs. A trained legally blind person can live a secured life. Hard work and patience can help legally blind people manage regular activities better.