Range of Estimates of Severely Visually Impaired Children
Age Range
25th Annual Report to Congress (2005)
U.S. Department of Education (school year 2001-2002) 6-21 Visually Impaired 28,845
6-21 Deaf-blind 1,615

Digest of Education Statistics (Snyder, Tan, & Hoffman, 2006)
School year 2–3-04 3-21 Visual Impairment (.1% of school enrollment; .4% of all children with disabilities) 28,000
3-21 Deaf-blindness 2,000

Other Census Data
American Printing House for the Blind (2006) (January 5, 2004 census) B-21 Legally Blind 49,270
National Deaf-Blind Child Count (December 1, 2003 census) (NTAC, 2004) B-21 Deaf-Blind 9,853
National Plan to Train Personnel in Blindness and Low Vision (2000) based on Kirchner & Diament (1999) B-21 Visually Impaired and Deaf-Blind 93,600

Estimated, based on population <18 years (US Census Bureau, 2007)
Jones & Collins (1966) (.1%) B-19 Visually Impaired 73,510
Wenger, Kay, & LaPlante (1996) (.2%) B-19 Visually Impaired 147,020
National Health Interview Survey-Disability (1998) (.3%) <18 years Serious difficulty seeing (includes legally blind) 93,600

Prepared by Dr. Kay Alicyn Ferrell, Associate Director, Policy Research, American Foundation for the Blind; Director, National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities at the University of Northern Colorado. February 2007


American Printing House for the Blind. (2006). Distribution of eligible students based on the federal quota census of January 4, 2004 (Fiscal Year 2005). Louisville, KY: Author. Retrieved February 7, 2007 at http://www.aph.org/fedquotpgm/dist05.html.

Jones, J. W., & Collins, A. P. (1966). Educational programs for visually handicapped children. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Kirchner, C., & Diament, S. (1999). Estimates of the number of visually impaired students, their teachers, and orientation and mobility specialists: Part 2. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 93, 738-744.

Mason, C., Davidson, R., & McNerney, C. (2000). The national plan to train personnel in blindness and low vision. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

National Center for Health Statistics. (1998). National Health Interview Survey on Disabilities, Phases I & II: 1994. (ASCII version). [CD-ROM]. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics [Producer and Distributor].

National Technical Assistance Center. (2004). National deaf-blind child count summary: December 1, 2003. Retrieved February 7, 2007 at http://www.tr.wou.edu/ntac/documents/census/2003%20Census%20Tables%20Birth%20thru%2021%20(2004).doc.

Snyder, T. D., Tan, A. G., & Hoffman, C. M. (2006). Digest of education statistics [Table 50]. Retrieved February 7, 2007 at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d05/tables/dt05_050.asp.

United States Census Bureau. (2007, January 12). State and country quick facts (USA). Retrieved February 7, 2007 at http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html.

United States Department of Education, (2005). 25th annual (2003) report to Congress on the implementation of the individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Washington, DC: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of Special Education Programs.

Wenger, B. L., Kaye, H. S., & LaPlante, M. P. (1996). Disabilities statistics abstract No. 15: Disabilities among children. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.