Vision Impairment Glossary

Vision impairment and blindness, its causes, and assistive resources come with a huge range of terminology. Browse our glossary to learn the meanings of these terms. 

Fingers type on a BrailleNote touch
Browse the glossary using this index

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Albinism is a genetic condition also called achromia, achromasia, or achromatosis. It occurs due to a deficit in the production in melanin and shows by the partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

Aleatoric Music

This is refers to a type of music where some element of the composition is left to chance, or a part is left to the interpretation of the performer.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is a piece of equipment or system, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.
Assistive technology is a term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities.

Audible Light Probe

Light probes can be used by blind people, or those with reduced light perception, to tell how light or dark it is, if lights have been left on or the status of indicator lights/LEDs on appliances.


Binding Machine

A machine used to bind paper together using a spiral of wire or plastic that coils through a series of holes punched along one side of each page.

Blind Spot

This is the optically insensitive region in the retina where fibres of the optic nerve emerge from the eyeball. It has no rods or cones.


Total vision loss and conditions where individuals have to rely on vision substitution skills.

Body Awareness

Body awareness relates to knowing where your body is in space. It is linked to our proprioceptive system, (the input we get from our joints and muscles). Children who have poor body awareness may have a difficult time in functioning at a certain age level due to the difficulty that they may have when learning new tasks.


Is a type of written language for blind people, in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the finger tips.

Braille Buttons

A three dimensional way to communicate a colour to people with visually impairment. The method matches the 16 common colours to shapes. Shaped coloured buttons provide a quick and simple tactile identifier for clothing, enabling a visually impaired person to be independently choose what to wear and be colour coordinated. Similarly shaped coloured pegs are used in specially designed board games. The SladeColour peg system with a ‘100’ pegboard is also used for the teaching of maths concepts.

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