Future Reflections                                                                                       Convention, 2002

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Common Visual Impairments in Young Children

Prepared by Visually Impaired Preschool Services
1229 Garvin Place, Louisville, KY 40203(502) 636-3207  *   www.vips.org

ALBINISM

Albinism involves the absence or reduction of pigment in the eyes, skin, and hair. It may affect only the eyes. Effects on vision may include decreased visual acuity, photophobia, nystagmus, and strabismus.

ANIRIDIA

Aniridia is a hereditary condition where the iris of the eye is underdeveloped. The effects on vision include decreased visual acuity, photophobia, nystagmus, cataracts, and underdeveloped retinas.

CATARACTS

A congenital cataract is a hereditary condition in which there is opacity of the lens. The effects on vision include decreased visual acuity, photophobia, nystagmus, cataracts, and underdeveloped retinas.

COLOBOMA

Coloboma is a hereditary condition in which various parts of the eye may be deformed. The effects on vision include decreased acuity, nystagmus, and strabismus.

CORTICAL VISUAL IMPAIRMENT (CVI)

Cortical visual impairment is a result of damage to the vision center of the brain due to trauma, anoxia, or malformation. The effects on vision include decreased acuity, nystagmus, and strabismus.

GLAUCOMA

Congenital glaucoma is a hereditary condition in which the tissue of the eye is damaged from increased intraocular pressure. The effects on vision include excessive tearing, photophobia, opacity or haze on the lens, buphthalmos, poor visual acuity, and constricted visual fields.

OPTIC NERVE ATROPHY

Optic nerve atrophy is caused by damage to the optic nerve. It can be hereditary or may result from trauma, inadequate blood or oxygen supply before or shortly after birth, or hydrocephalus. Effects on vision include decreased visual acuity, decreased central vision, decreased sensitivity in all visual fields, and nystagmus.

OPTIC NERVE HYPOPLASIA (ONH)

ONH is generally of unknown cause. It may appear by itself or in conjunction with neurological or hormonal abnormalities. The effects on vision may include decreased visual acuity, peripheral field loss, poor depth perception, and mild photophobia.

NYSTAGMUS

Nystagmus is an involuntary, rhythmic side-to-side or up-and-down eye movement that often accompanies other visual disorders.

RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY (ROP)

Retinopathy of Prematurity is a condition in which the retinas are scarred due to an unusual growth of blood vessels in the retina and vitreous. This is usually found in premature infants, but may also be found in full-term infants. The effects on vision include retinal detachments, severe myopia, decreased visual acuity, and blindness.

 

2003 NFB Scholarships

Thirty scholarships ranging in value from $3,000 to $10,000 will be awarded in July at the 2003 NFB convention to blind college, vocational school, and graduate students. Award winners will also be the guests of the NFB at the national convention, and will have the additional opportunity to win four voucher awards for products from Freedom Scientific. At least three of the scholarships will be awarded to students who won NFB scholarships in previous competitions, and one award may be given to an eligible part-time student who is holding down a full-time job. The application must be received by the committee by March 31, 2003.

To request an application contact the Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, or <nfbstore@nfb.org>. Applications are also available from college financial aid offices, the NFB Web site at <www.nfb.org>, and from NFB state affiliate presidents and members of the 2003 NFB Scholarship Committee. The applications may be copied as long as both sides of the form are reproduced.

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