Visual impairment: overview
Visual impairment - where a person has sight loss that cannot be fully corrected using glasses or contact lenses.
Visual impairment may be congenital (present from birth) or acquired (develops after birth). Several causes of visual impairment are age-related, e.g. cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Visual impairment is therefore more common in the elderly than in children.
- Visual impairment is a relatively low-incidence disability, but it frequently has a high impact.
- There is considerable range of needs amongst people who have visual impairment.
- Speech and language therapy contributes by advising and supporting the family, carers and other practitioners concerning the communication of people who have visual impairment.
- Many people who have learning disability and/or physical disabilities also have visual impairment; dysphagia is common in this group. Speech and language therapy promotes safe and enjoyable eating, drinking and swallowing in these people.
View visual impairment sections:
- Introduction: characteristics, aetiology, vulnerability and risk issues.
- Role of speech and language therapy: assessment, diagnosis and management.
- National policy context: national policies, government reports and legislation from across the UK.
- Prevalence and incidence statistics
- Evidence and research
- Guidelines and supporting resources
- RSLT Bulletin feature articles
- Useful contacts: RCSLT advisers, RCSLT clinical excellence networks, key organisations.
- Reference list
- Website contributors and date of last review
Cross-reference with other topic areas:
- Brain injury
- Learning disability
- Multi-sensory impairment
- Motor disorders
- Progressive neurological disorders