The Routledge Handbook of Visual Impairment examines current debates as well as cross-examining traditionally held beliefs around visual impairment. It provides a bridge between medical practice and social and cultural research drawing on authentic investigations.

It is the intention of this Handbook to provide an opportunity to engage with academic researchers who wish to ensure a coherent and rigorous approach to research construction and reflection on visual impairment that is in collaboration with, but sometimes is beyond, the medical realm.

This Handbook is divided into ten thematic areas in order to represent the wide range of debates and concepts within visual impairment. The ten themes include:

  • cerebral visual impairment;
  • education;
  • sport and physical exercise;
  • assistive technology;
  • understanding the cultural aesthetics;
  • socio-emotional and sexual aspects of visual impairment;
  • orientation, mobility, habitation, and rehabilitation;
  • recent advances in "eye" research and sensory substitution devices;
  • ageing and adulthood.


The 27 chapters that explore the social and cultural aspects of visual impairment can be taken and used in a variety of different ways in order to promote research and generate debate among practitioners and scholars who wish to use this resource to inform their practice in supporting and developing positive outcomes for all.

chapter 1|7 pages

Introduction and synthesis of themes

The editor’s perspective
ByJohn Ravenscroft

part I|41 pages

Introducing and understanding the profile, sociological and psychological impact of visual impairment

chapter 2|7 pages

Global data on vision loss

Implications for services
ByJill Keeffe

chapter 3|18 pages

Psychological representation of visual impairment

Perception and how visually impaired people “see” the world
ByJennifer C. Fielder, Michael J. Proulx

chapter 4|14 pages

On being blind

ByGaylen Kapperman

part II|45 pages

Cerebral visual impairment/cerebral visual processing

chapter 5|17 pages

Cerebral (cortical) visual impairment in children

A perspective
ByGordon N. Dutton, Corinna M. Bauer

chapter 6|9 pages

A personal perspective on CVI

ByNicola McDowell

chapter 7|17 pages

Assessment of visual processing functions and disorders

ByLea Hyvärinen

part III|75 pages


chapter 8|19 pages

Trends in low vision education

Learning from the past, looking to the future
ByAmanda Hall Lueck, Gregory L. Goodrich

chapter 9|25 pages

Formal and non-formal education for individuals with vision impairment or multiple disabilities and vision impairment

Current trends and challenges
ByVassilios Argyropoulos, Frances Gentle

chapter 10|16 pages

Transition from school to higher education

Research evidence and best practice
ByGraeme Douglas, Rachel Hewett, Mike McLinden

chapter 11|13 pages

Career education for students with visual impairments

ByKaren E. Wolffe

part IV|29 pages

Sport and physical exercise for people with visual impairment

chapter 12|14 pages

Teaching children who are deafblind in physical education, physical activity and recreation

ByLauren J. Lieberman, Justin A. Haegele

chapter 13|13 pages

Movement and visual impairment

Research and practice
ByJustin A. Haegele, Lauren J. Lieberman

part V|17 pages

Assistive technology

chapter 14|15 pages

Foundations and recommendations for research in access technology

ByYue-Ting Siu

part VI|67 pages

Understanding the cultural aesthetics

part VII|41 pages

Socio-emotional and sexual aspects of visual impairment

chapter 19|15 pages

Social-emotional aspects of visual impairment

A practitioner’s perspective
ByJoao Roe

chapter 20|15 pages

Self-esteem of people with visual impairment

BySamir Qasim

chapter 21|9 pages

Human mate selection theory

Specific considerations for persons with visual impairments
ByGaylen Kapperman, Stacy M. Kelly

part VIII|45 pages

Orientation, mobility, habilitation and rehabilitation

chapter 22|27 pages

Modern approaches to orientation and mobility

Habilitation and rehabilitation
ByKarl Wall

chapter 23|16 pages

Measuring vision, orientation and mobility in the wild

ByLil Deverell

part IX|35 pages

Recent advances in “eye” research and sensory substitution devices

chapter 24|13 pages

An overview of human pluripotent stem cell applications for the understanding and treatment of blindness

ByLouise A. Rooney, Duncan E. Crombie, Grace E. Lidgerwood, Maciej Daniszewski, Alice Pébay

chapter 25|20 pages

Technologies for vision impairment

Bionic eyes and sensory substitution devices
ByLauren N. Ayton, Penelope J. Allen, Carla J. Abbott, Matthew A. Petoe

part X|44 pages

Aging and adulthood

chapter 26|23 pages

Employment and visual impairment

Issues in adulthood
ByNatalie Martiniello, Walter Wittich

chapter 27|19 pages

Aging and combined vision and hearing loss

ByWalter Wittich, Peter Simcock