Visual impairment

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Classification according to ICD-10
H54 Blindness and poor eyesight
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)
The logo is upright and shows a stylized human figure on a deep blue background.  She walks through the picture from left to right and holds a long stick pointing forward in her right hand.
Long stick walkers as an international logo for blindness or visual impairment (at BSVÖ )

A visual impairment is a usually permanent massive limitation of the visual perception ability . They are generally divided into degrees of severity, which are usually based on the remaining degree of visual acuity of the better eye ( visual remainder ). The most pronounced form of visual impairment is amaurosis , the complete form of blindness without any optical stimulus processing . Various organic, functional or optical disorders can be the cause. The prognosis and therapeutic measures depend on this .

On the concept of visual impairment

The criteria for this vary depending on the definition used (e.g. WHO , German Social Security Code, etc.).

Classifications according to the professional association of ophthalmologists in Austria and Germany

  • Visual impairment: up to a maximum visual acuity (visual acuity) of 0.3 on the better eye
  • Severe visual impairment: up to a maximum visual acuity (visual acuity) of 0.05 on the better eye
  • Blindness : up to a maximum visual acuity (VA) of 0.02 on the better eye
  • Amaurosis: no more light perception and optical stimulus processing

A restriction of the field of vision to less than 5 degrees is also considered blindness .

The values ​​apply to a measurement with the best possible correction or visual aid (e.g. glasses or contact lenses).

Other forms

Partially functional visual impairments are color blindness or night blindness . In addition, certain diseases or symptoms fall under the concept of visual impairment , even if they do not meet the legal criteria. These include, for example, half-sided field losses , double images , gaze paresis , visual neglect or forms of cortical blindness .


The etiology of visual impairment can be very diverse. The causes include, for example

In principle, acquired disabilities can be distinguished from congenital ones.


The visually impaired often struggle with prejudice . They often have big problems with being misunderstood by people who are not familiar with the subject and sometimes even labeled as a simulant . For this reason, many visually impaired people shy away from identifying themselves, which would increase safety both for them and for other road users. Little did many people realize that there are so many visual impairments that cannot be corrected and that do not even require glasses to be worn. People who are not affected often cannot understand that the visually impaired cannot see something, but instead see apparently normal elsewhere and do not need any help. A phenomenon that causes incomprehension is, for example, a person with tunnel vision (very restricted field of vision) who can hardly orientate himself and who depends on a white cane, but who then sits down and reads a newspaper. In addition, the eyesight can depend, for example, on the daily shape of the person concerned, the exertion to which the eye has already been exposed or the lighting conditions. A visually impaired person does not always behave in the same way, which can lead to irritation. A major concern of the visually impaired associations is therefore education .

Identification for visually impaired and blind people


The logo is square and shows a stylized human figure on a black ocher yellow background.  She walks from right to left through the picture and holds a long stick pointing forward in her left hand.  She wears an armband on her left upper arm.
Logo ÖNORM V 2106, binding for road traffic in Austria

According to § 3 StVO , the principle of trust , “visually impaired people with white canes or yellow armbands” are expressly excluded from the fact that “ road users may trust that [these] people will follow the relevant legal provisions for using the road ” because “ these people are special Need attention from other road users ”. (→ Long- pole walkers have generally completed orientation and mobility training).

Three black dots on a yellow background

Although this marking is mandatory, it is not legally regulated in more detail in the StVO or otherwise. Is in use for a long time a worn on an armband symbol consisting of three arranged in a triangle black dots on a yellow background , the 1920 in Germany introduced based on a former road sign traffic safety signs for the disabled. In general, there were two points above, one point below for 'visually impaired or blind', one point above, two points below for ' hearing impaired or deaf '.

The Austrian blind associations had been trying for a long time to "develop an armband with a new design and modern fabric quality that is easier to recognize even in the dark." In addition, they wanted to replace the "stigmatizing three black dots with another, unambiguous and internationally similar symbol" . Since there were no objections from the legislator, a new, binding logo was created with ÖNORM  V 2106: 2002-08-01 Yellow armbands for blind and visually impaired people - design and dimensions . The “man with a long stick” has long been common in south-western Europe and was defined according to ÖNORM as a “black, gender-neutral person with a blind long stick on a yellow background”. With the 2005 StVO amendment, hearing-impaired and deaf people were no longer excluded from the principle of trust, so that the traditional symbol was no longer a clear indicator of the target group of Section 3.

In addition to the logo, the new armband for the blind has reflective elements and sewn-in reflective fabric strips. The white cane must be at least two-thirds white and should also have reflective elements. The labeling of a visually impaired or blind road user "is in their own responsibility and self-interest." There is no legal labeling requirement, but the labeling used is binding for other road users.

Treatment options

The therapy options depend heavily on the extent and cause of the disability. Complete restitution is seldom possible and appropriate rehabilitation measures are not infrequently necessary.

See also


  • Indications for the medical expert work at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs .
  • Guideline No. 07 from the professional association of ophthalmologists in Germany .
  • Andreas Schaufler: Low Vision . Completely revised new edition, DOZ Verlag, Heidelberg 2013, ISBN 978-3-942873-14-7 .

Web links

Commons : Visually Impaired  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files



  • - Information pool of computer aids for the blind and visually impaired
  • - information campaign for the professional participation of visually impaired people

Individual evidence

  1. Quote § 3 StVO
  2. Quotation from the preliminary remarks on ÖNORM V 2106
  3. a b Wolfgang Kremser: The new yellow armband for visually impaired and blind people. (No longer available online.) In: Der Durchblick. Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired Austria , S. Looked through> Facts worth knowing , archived from the original on December 23, 2008 ; Retrieved April 14, 2010 .
  4. a b Quote Kremser: The new yellow armband
  5. ÖNORM V 2106 - Standard brief information . Austrian building database, Austrian Standards
  6. a b c Wolfgang Kremser: Identification of visually impaired and blind people in road traffic in accordance with the Austrian road traffic regulations, § 3 - principle of trust. (No longer available online.) In: Blind and visually impaired people in Austria - Problems and solutions. March 29, 2008, archived from the original on December 8, 2015 ; Retrieved April 14, 2010 .
  7. Martin Ladstätter: The new armband for the blind. In: BIZEPS-INFO. BIZEPS - Center for Self-Determined Living , October 15, 2003, accessed on April 14, 2010 (with ill.).
  8. Quote Kremser: Identification