Different "blind": Why Zoomax Provides Infographic for the Blind

Last week Zoomax infographic 10 Benefits You Will Get From a Video Magnifier received a comment:

comments to zoomax

Zoomax received a comment on Twitter


We finally figured it out after discussion:"I have no problem with it being pretty - I have a problem with not also giving the information as text for ppl who need it"


The reason we choose to make an infographic based on the wide use of OCR and Text-to-Speech function, which help to recognize words on images. Yet for most popular screen readers, text is way much easier to recognize and consequently make information more accessible. Regarding this, infographic's text version is on its way to post.


However, some others just questioned: Your image is totally invisible for the blind! Try to wear your ignorance lightly.


Now it's our term to ask: do you really know what "blind" is?


Definitely, "blind" people have problem in viewing. But some people identified "blind" still have sight. This fact may be puzzling: they are legally blind.


What is "legally blind"?

"Legally blind" refers to the person, who has visual acuity no better than 20/200 with conventional correction and/or a restricted field of vision less than 20 degrees wide.


Many people who are "legally blind", actually are visually impaired .They have not always lost their visual functions. And it is inaccurate to label a visually impaired as a "blind". People with partial sight can use some optical devices and computerized reading machines to lead a life as a sighted person. 


The four leading causes of legal blindness in the United States are age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Below are some simulation visions of different eye conditions:

kitchen-shelf

kitchen shelf in normal vision


legal blindness - AMD vision - Zoomax

Age-related macular degeneration AMD vision


legal blindness - Cataract vision - Zoomax

Cataract vision


legal blindness - Diabetic Retinopathy vision - Zoomax

Diabetic Retinopathy vision


legal blindness - Glaucoma vision - Zoomax

Glaucoma vision


legal blindness - Retina detachment vision - Zoomax

Retina detachment vision


Now, we can all figure out that legally blind people can "see" in a way. But before that, most often, the word "blind" is confused with "totally blind". So, what is "totally blind"? Are totally blind people not able to see anything?


What is "totally blind"?

Total blindness refers to the person, who completely lack of light perception and form perception, recorded as "NLP," an abbreviation for "no light perception."


When it comes to question "are totally blind people not able to see anything", the answer is yes; however, if someone without eyesight still remains perception of light, she/he is also not able to figure out any form, and not totally blind as well. Table of WHO definition elaborates different categories.


So far, few people are totally blind. According to statistics of Vision Aware, 85% of all individuals with eye disorders still have some sight remaining; only 15% are totally blind.


So, why do we need a category "legal blindness" instead of simply classifying it into "severe visual impairment"?


Why "legally blind"?

As we can see, the word "legally" is greatly related to legal stuffs such as policy, rules and legislation. In fact, this identification is for government use to determine eligibility for vocational training, rehabilitation, schooling, disability benefits, low vision devices, and tax exemption programs. Despite those welfare policies, there are some restrictions. Driving is one of them.


Just like the legal policies are various among countries, the definitions of legal blindness are different. What we need to know is that it's not a functional definition.


What does image mean for legally blind people?

Everyone who has sight deserves crafted delicate visual information. They should be treated with abundant forms of information receiving instead of boring, monotonous text. We can't deny their sense through colors, shapes, configuration and other aesthetic factors. Assistive technologies are operating at full capacity to help every visually impaired people recognize better.


For who has family, friends, ophthalmologists and carers with normal eyesight, pretty infographics are attractive as well and then are able to help them to learn what can be offered intuitively.


We will keep providing high quality infographics with high quality information in low vision field and sectors with our products involved. Text will be also posted for quick recognition. Please don't hesitate to let us know content you interested in so that we can share more designed infographics with people in need.



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