Yvonne Felix is watching me. This would not be remarkable for most people I meet with, but Felix is legally blind.
She smiles and tells me she can see me taking notes on my computer and every time I look up at her. I can’t see her eyes, but the special visor she’s wearing from eSight is pointed in my direction.
Felix, who suffers from Stargardt Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration, was declared legally blind when she was 13. For Felix, who came to my office to demonstrate eSight 3 smart glasses, this means she has a large, totally blind spot in the middle of her vision, no depth perception, an inability to discern colors and only blurry peripheral vision.
Legal blindness is a subset of vision impairment. Doctors define legal blindness as central visual acuity of 20/200 or less with the best possible correction, and/or a visual field of 20 degrees or less. Normal vision is 20/20. Felix has 20/400 vision.
For much of her life, Felix lived as a profoundly blind person, using a walking stick, reading braille and not being able to see her children when they were born or as they grew.
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