Markham Stoufville Hospital Child Development Programs

What is a Visual Impairment?

Visual Impairment

Pediatric Visual Impairment

Visual impairment is defined as an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s interaction with his environment and may affect the ability to access early learning opportunities and educational material. The term includes both low vision and blindness. Visual impairment refers to abnormality of the eyes, the optic nerve or the visual center for the brain resulting in decreased visual acuity and/or visual perceptual abilities.

Pierangelo, 2007, p. 331

Ocular Impairment

Refers to damage to the eye structures through which children receive unclear, limited or no visual information.

Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)

The ocular structures are healthy, but injury to the visual pathways in the brain prevents a child from interpreting the information that the eyes receive. CVI is associated with unique visual and behaviour characteristics.