Blindness or visual impairment is defined as: inability to see or limitation of actions and function of the visual system or a decreased ability to see.

There are 4 levels of visual function:

  • Normal vision
  • Moderate visual impairment
  • Severe visual impairment and
  • Blindness

The leading cause of blindness include cataract, glaucoma, and age related macular degeneration. On the other hand blindness caused by infections is decreasing worldwide.

Facts and Statistics on Disabilities

People with disability constitute one of the most marginalized and socially excluded groups in the society. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that there are approximately 1 billion people with disability globally, 80% of whom live in the developing countries. Of which 15% are from the Southern Africa and women and girls make half the percentage. According to the Statistics South Africa Report 2011, 7.5 % of South African are persons with disability and visual impairment is still the most prevalent disability. Disability is more prevalent among females compared to males (8.3% and 6.5% respectively).

What you might need to know:

When working with a person with visual impairment it is highly recommended that you take note of the following:

Lighting in the training rooms or offices is very important, depending on the severity of the disability one might need more or less light.

Colour coding of doors, frames, steps helps in recognizing them easily, it might help to avoid clear, white and silver colours.

Depending on the severity of the disability, one might rely entirely on hearing, so it will be crucial that what is being said is correct.

The font used for training material or even on presentations should accommodate a person with visual impairment.

Pens or markers that are used should be visible and accommodate someone with disability.



Winnie Mokoti

Operations Manager – Braampark