In order to measure your visual field and ascertain any dysfunction in your peripheral vision, an ophthalmologist or optometrist would examine your eye by conducting a visual field test, such as a confrontation visual field examination or Donders’ test, or one of the perimetry or campimetry test of the visual field, and determine what the degree of your horizontal visual field is along the horizontal meridian. If your visual field is between 120 to 140 degrees along the horizontal meridian without turning your head, then your field of vision is within the normal range of a healthy human being. If, however, the greatest diameter of your field of vision in both of your eyes is 20 degrees or less, then you are legally blind.
Of note, further to the Ontario Regulation 340/94, under the Highway Traffic Act, if you are a driver in Ontario, then you must have a horizontal visual field of at least 120 continuous degrees along the horizontal meridian, in accordance with subs. 18.(1)(b), which reads as follows:
- (1) An applicant for or a holder of a Class M, M1 or M2 driver’s licence must have,
(b) a horizontal visual field of at least 120 continuous degrees along the horizontal meridian and at least 15 continuous degrees above and below fixation, with both eyes open and examined together. O. Reg. 83/05, s. 10.
So, in Ontario it is illegal for you to drive if your horizontal visual field is less than 120 degrees along the horizontal meridian and at least 15 continuous degrees above and below fixation.
The CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization, which is “driven to change what it is to be blind today”, and offers various “innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Ontario/Canada
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Ontario/Canada is a “not-for-profit national healthcare organization and the leading provider of rehabilitation therapy and healthcare services for individuals with vision loss”. Their “rehabilitation services help Canadians with vision loss accomplish daily living activities safely and with confidence”. They have “certified specialists that “provide a range of services that help individuals with vision loss lead more independent, active lives”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
More Organizations for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The organizations listed below provide counseling for you if you are blind and visually impaired. They offer services, such as, but not limited to, the following: individual and family counselling relating to vision loss, parent, peer, and family support groups and referrals to other agencies. Some also provide additional information aids to support your independence with your visual acuity impairment.
Accessible Media Inc.
Accessible Media Inc. is a “not-for-profit media company that entertains, informs and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Bell Canada – Accessibility Services Centre
Bell Canada – Accessibility Services Centre builds products, from screen readers to mobile devices, as well as offers services for blind and low vision users to enhance your mobile experience. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Canadian Council of the Blind
Canadian Council of the Blind offers programs that focus on improving the lives for those with vision loss and awareness issues to the sighted community, and focus on changing what it means to be blind. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind
Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind is a national, charitable organization founded that provides “Canadians with greater mobility and independence through the use of professionally trained guide dogs (Nationally) and mobility assistance dogs (Ottawa area)”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Deafblind Ontario Services
Deafblind Ontario Services provides an “array of services to people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, non-verbal and deafblind that are customized to each individual’s unique needs, method of communication, and goals to enrich their life”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Eye Bank of Canada (The) – Ontario Division
The Eye Bank of Canada (Ontario Division) is the “largest eye bank in Canada”, and they “receive, process and distribute more than 4,000 donated eye tissues annually for sight-saving transplants, research and education”. They are “licensed by Health Canada, and are accredited with the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA)”. Kensington Health is a “not-for-profit, community-based model of specialized healthcare services that creates consistently better health outcomes by tirelessly pursuing the best ways to respond to unmet health needs within the communities we serve”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Fighting Blindness Canada – Foundation Fighting Blindness
Foundation Fighting Blindness has the goal of driving the “research that would lead to preventions, treatments, and vision restoration for the spectrum of degenerative retinal diseases, specifically macular degeneration – including age related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, Stargardt disease and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA)”. They are currently the “world’s leading private funder of retinal disease research”.
Fighting Blindness Canada is Canada’s “leading private funder of vision research”. They “offer hope to Canadians by identifying the best, most promising research that is driving treatments and cures for blinding eye diseases, and by raising and stewarding funds to support this essential, sight-saving research”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Lions Foundation of Canada – Dog Guides
Lions Foundation of Canada – Dog Guides seeks to “empower Canadians with disabilities to navigate their world with confidence and independence by providing Dog Guides at no cost to them and supporting each pair in their journey together”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
National Services Dogs
National Service Dogs seeks to “empower people to achieve their full potential with strategically trained and certified service dogs, catalysts for restorative change”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Ontario Ministry of Education – Resource Services and Outreach Programs
The Ontario Ministry of Education’s Resource Services and Outreach Programs has a Provincial Schools Resource Services Department that “provides a range of services to families and school boards in support of students who are blind, deafblind, low-vision, Deaf, hard of hearing or who have a severe learning disability”. Their programs include, but are not limited to, the following: “workshops, on-line learning opportunities and early intervention programs designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas so that students across the province are able to achieve their full academic potential”. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Middlesex-London Health Unit – Healthy Start – Blind Low Vision Early Intervention Program
The Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention program is available for “families with children who have a visual impairment from birth until school entry”, and provides you support in your home and in your community. So, “if your child has been diagnosed with blindness or low vision, you can get support through the Blind-Low Vision program”, which offers family support, intervention services, and consultation services. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
St Joseph’s Health Care London – St Joseph’s Hospital – Ivey Eye Institute
The Ivey Eye Institute is the main referral centre for eye disease in Western Ontario and is located at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario. Amongst other things, they “provide quality medical and surgical eye care” for their region. Please visit their website for more information at the following URL address:
Please keep in mind that these aforementioned services may or may not be regulated in Ontario. You can contact the Consumer Protection Ontario to help you ask the right questions before you choose any of their services. If you have a concern or serious complaint about any non-regulated service, then please visit www.ontario.ca/page/consumer-protection-ontario/ for further information.
I hope you found this information valuable. Rudder Law Group’s website is your one-stop source for answers to all of your legal questions concerning catastrophic impairment law and personal injury law.