A new report from the Australian National University and the Royal Australasian College of Optometry (RACO) suggests that the growing number of people living in blind spaces has had a significant impact on their visual function.
“A lot of the blind people that we talked to were quite comfortable with what they had and what they thought they were capable of,” RACO associate professor Dr. James Pyle said in a statement.
“But they are not the people that have the best experience of life, so they have been affected in ways that we have not seen before.”
In particular, they are suffering a growing range of visual impairments that we can’t really see.”RACOs researchers surveyed over 600 blind and hearing people and found that a growing number are having problems with visual acuity, especially when looking at small objects or looking for objects that have been moved around.”
We have to be careful in our assessments of the people in blind and blind-affected environments because we can find that they may have different cognitive skills than those of people in more comfortable settings,” Dr. Pyle told ABC News.”
They might be able to identify what they are looking at, but they may be unable to recognise other people’s faces, for example.
“RacO and the RACOs Research and Education Centre (REEC) have also launched a new project, Vision for Blind and Deaf Australians, to address the growing trend of blind and sighted people becoming less comfortable in the workplace.
The project, which will focus on the needs of blind people and hearing Australians, is launching this week in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology, which is also helping the RACCO to research the impact of this growing problem.”
I think it’s important that we understand how the human mind works and how it operates and what it is that we are doing,” Dr Pyle added.”
And to do that, we have to understand the brain as well as the senses and what is happening in the brain.
“Follow Matt on Twitter: @mattmcgrathAP