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Paralympic Athletes with Vision Impairment

Athletes competing in Paralympic sports fall broadly into three categories: physical impairments, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. For the vision-impaired athletes, there are degrees of blindness, and some require the help of assistants while others can perform on their own with their limited amount of vision.

How Blind Can You Be?

Athletes are classified according to their level of corrected vision. They must have an impairment in both eyes, that meets the minimal disability criteria of visual acuity that is less than 6/60 and/or a visual field that is less than a radius of 40 degrees. Normal visual acuity is called 6/6, which corresponds to the bottom or second bottom line of the chart. If you can only read the top line of the chart then this would be 6/60.

Blind Sports & Events

blind runners at the 2012 London Paralympics blind runners at the 2012 London Paralympics

Sighted Assistants

Sighted assistants are used by some Paralympians with vision impairments, such as:

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Paralympics Extra

The next Summer Paralympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the 2026 Winter Paralympics. Also, check out the list of Paralympic sports, and top medal winners.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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