We are a Seattle-based non-profit organization. All proceeds from sales on
this website go directly to funding our programs supporting people with low
vision and blindness.
Our mission is to enhance the ability of people with vision loss to lead
active, independent lives. Our motto:
ADAPT. LEARN. THRIVE.
What does it mean to be low-vision, or visually impaired?
Low vision is a partial loss of sight (also referred to as partially
sighted, severe vision impairment). It is often a loss of visual acuity or
sharpness, but may be a loss of side vision or extreme difficulty with
light or glare. Low vision exists when functional vision cannot be
adequately corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications or
Legal blindness is a level of visual impairment that has been defined by
law to determine eligibility for benefits. It refers to a central visual
acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible
correction, as measured on a Snellen vision chart, or a visual field of 20
degrees or less.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of
irreversible severe central vision loss in Caucasians over the age of 50 in
the U.S. The incidence and progression of all the features of AMD is known
to increase significantly with age. It results from damage to the macula,
which is the central part of the retina responsible for central vision and
ability to see detail. Although the extent of central vision loss can be
significant, macular degeneration alone rarely causes total blindness.
Glaucoma in its most common form is the second leading cause of blindness
in the United States, and the leading cause of blindness among
African-Americans. Glaucoma is a disease where pressure within the eye is
so high that it can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. It
affects side vision long before central vision is affected. Although
glaucoma cannot yet be prevented, it can usually be controlled or stopped
with treatment and medication.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes caused by damage to
blood vessels in the retina. It is one of the four leading causes of severe
vision impairment in older Americans. The risk of developing diabetic
retinopathy is greater the longer someone has diabetes. According to the
American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 80 percent of people who have had
diabetes for at least 15 years have some damage to the retina.
Cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, which is normally clear.
Light can no longer pass through the lens easily, and vision becomes hazy
or blurred. The current treatment, which is safe and highly successful, is
surgical removal of the lens which is usually replaced with an intraocular
There are many other conditions that can cause a significant loss of
vision. It always best to consult with your eye care physician about any
concerns with your vision and to get regular eye exams.
Public Information Series
provides information on Sight Connection services, adaptive devices,
techniques and common eye health issues for individuals and family members.
Age Related Eye Diseases At A Glance provides an overview of some of the
major eye conditions.