Francisco Blindness Lawyers
Blindness Attorneys Serving San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles,
Oakland, & Ontario, California
It is estimated that about 750,000 people
in the U.S. are blind.
Every year 50,000 Americans become blind. Blindness occurs most often with advancing age, but a substantial portion of blindness
results from injury. A significant number of blind people are children or
young adults. However, blindness does not need to be the tragedy that it
is generally thought to be. With proper training, knowledge and opportunities,
blind people can be productive, first-class citizens.
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What is the definition of blindness?
One is blind to the extent that he must devise alternative
techniques to do efficiently those things which he would do with sight
if he had normal vision.
Legally Blind = visual acuity of less than 20/200 with correction or a
field of less than 20 degrees
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Often, the family and friends of a person who has lost his
or her vision suddenly find themselves out of place and unsure of how
to treat their loved one. Below is a helpful list that may help make this
Tips for Dealing with A Loved One’s Blindness
- I'm an ordinary person, just blind. You don't need to
raise your voice or address me as if I were a child. Don't ask my spouse
what I want--"Cream in the coffee?"--ask me.
- I may use a long white cane or a guide dog to walk independently;
or I may ask to take your arm. Let me decide, and please don't grab
my arm; let me take yours. I'll keep a half-step behind to anticipate
curbs and steps.
- I want to know who's in the room with me. Speak when
you enter. Introduce me to the others including children, and tell me
if there's a cat or dog.
- The door to a room or cabinet or to a car that is left
partially open is a hazard to me.
- At dinner I will not have trouble with ordinary table
- Don't avoid words like "see." I use them too.
I'm always glad to see you.
- I don't want pity, but don't talk about the "wonderful
compensations" of blindness. My sense of smell, taste, touch or
hearing did not improve when I became blind, I rely on them more and,
therefore, may get more information through those senses than you do--that's
- If I'm your houseguest, show me the bathroom, closet,
dresser, window--the light switch too. I like to know whether the lights
are on or off.
- I'll discuss blindness with you if you're curious, but
it's an old story to me. I have as many other interests as you do.
- Don't think of me as just a blind person. I'm just a
person who happens to be blind.
- You don't need to remember some "politically correct"
term, "visually impaired", "sight challenged" etc.
Keep it simple and honest, just say blind.
- In all 50 states the law requires drivers to yield the
right of way when they see my extended white cane. Only the blind may
carry white canes. You see more blind persons today walking alone, not
because there are more of us, but because we have learned to make our
Do you know a blind person who needs help or information? Perhaps he or
she is newly blinded and having trouble adjusting to the loss of sight.
Maybe he or she does not know about all the services that are available.
Services such as Social Security benefits, rehabilitation, employment,
scholarships, civil rights, products and aids, the free reading matter
mail privilege, publications, education of blind children, and library
services are readily available with a little community research.
Here for a list of online resources for blind people and their families