Blindness is defined as insufficient vision that ranges from minimal light perception to total loss of sight. Infants who are born with blindness or lose sight in the first 24 months of life are at risk for social, developmental, and educational challenges. The lack of sight changes the sensory–perceptual system that is essential for the development of communication. This entry provides an overview of blindness, the historical context of treatment, and key aspects of assessment and intervention for communication.

Historical Foundations

Blindness is referred to throughout recorded history. In the 19th century, schools and institutions were established to improve the blind child’s mental, emotional, and personal development. By the mid-20th century, reports of interventions emerging from these schools and institutions led to systematic research on child development ...

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