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July 1976

Classification of Visual Performance

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

Arch Ophthalmol. 1976;94(7):1227. doi:10.1001/archopht.1976.03910040135020

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To the Editor.  —Classification of visual performance has traditionally been according to the simple dichotomy of "legally seeing" vs "legally blind." This oversimplification has ignored the fact that there is another group with unique problems—patients with low vision. They differ from the blind in that they have usable vision. They differ from persons with normal vision because they need assistance to optimize their use of vision.The upcoming ninth revision of the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) will include categories for both low vision and blindness. It will also contain a supplementary classification on impairments, disabilities, and handicaps. Because of the wide variety of disciplines interested in low vision and blindness, it is important that there are guidelines on the use of these terms. Based on discussions with individuals in ophthalmology, education, rehabilitation, health statistics, and other fields, such guidelines have recently been drafted by

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