When people think of blindness as a disability, they often imagine it to be absolute. They understand that vision issues like farsightedness or nearsightedness can make it more difficult to see without corrective lenses, and they assume blindness is just the extreme end of the spectrum, where someone’s vision has deteriorated — or been damaged — so that they can’t see at all.
This is not always true. From a disability standpoint, this is important to understand because someone could still have some level of vision, but they may still be legally blind and therefore eligible for disability benefits. Never assume that you can’t get benefits without losing 100% of your sight.
For instance, health experts note that partial blindness may be:
- A distinct difficulty seeing specific shapes
- General cloudiness to your vision
- Tunnel vision that restricts your range
- The inability to see well at night
- The ability to see shadowy shapes moving about in a light background, but without the definition that is needed
In short, partial blindness is still a massive reduction in your ability to see. There may be no way to correct this; it’s not like finding out your vision is impaired and getting a new pair of glasses. Even if you are not completely blind, you may find it impossible to work or continue in your career.
If this does happen, whether the blindness is from injury, illness or some other cause, it’s crucial for you to understand all of the options you have. Make sure you take the time to look into the legal steps you’ll need to take.