About this resource


For whom is this information intended?

The information contained in these pages is intended for use primarily by parents, other members of the family and older children with visual impairment. The information will also be of use to interested health professionals and carers. These pages are in the public domain and we encourage users to download and print it out for their own use and for distribution to other interested groups.


The purpose of the information is to explain

  • The way the eyes and brain normally work to make 'vision'
  • The reason why vision may become impaired by a specific condition
  • The cause of the condition
  • The effects of the condition on the child's vision
  • The effect of the condition on the child's general well being
  • How the condition is diagnosed
  • What can be done to help

All the information pages are structured in the same way with the minimum use of medical terms and jargon. It is impossible to avoid all medical terms and jargon but where we have used them we have attempted to explain them in plain English.


These pages represent the consensus of opinion of many different people who include:

  • Parents of visually impaired children
  • Visually Impaired Children themselves
  • Community Paediatricians
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Educationalists
  • Psychologists

The main author and person responsible for their final content is  Dr Andrew Blaikie who is an Ophthalmology Research Fellow with Visual Impairment Scotland. He is a member of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and be contacted at VI Scotland by letter, phone or email for views and feedback on these information pages.

What this information is not for?

These pages are not to be used as a means of diagnosing a condition. Any diagnosis should be made by a qualified ophthalmologist, neurologist or paediatrician. 

Sources of information

These pages aim to cover the full spectrum of visually impairing conditions and all their various forms of presentation. It is a very big subject. As far as we can determine these pages are true and accurate and have been written in good faith. Many sources of information have been used. These include:

  • Parents of Visually Impaired Children
  • Visually Impaired Children
  • Carers of Visually Impaired Children
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Paediatricians
  • Text Books
  • Published Research