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Using our vision, we perceive:

  • Shapes
  • Distance
  • Movement
  • Color
  • Heat
  • Depth

We notice and understand all of these thanks to our sense of sight.


Here is a friend you might see at AccesSurf!


This is what someone with a vision impairment might see:

What would be difficult?

  • Locating the front and back of a rash guard
  • Recognizing a friend waving from a distance
  • Filling out the sign-in sheet
  • Noticing a dip in the sand
  • Timing a wave
  • Finding the correct size booties in a pile

What can I do?

Recognize that not being able to fully see what is going on can be scary, and it can make some activities more difficult.

Recognize how vision impacts a person’s ability to participate.

Some things you can do to help:

  • Offer help by asking, “How can I help?”
  • We want participants to do as much as they can by themselves to build their independence and make them feel confident!
  • Update the participant on their environment.
  • “There’s a wave coming up!” or “It looks like there’s one more buckle to fasten on your life vest.”

Common Visual Impairments

  • nearsightedness
  • farsightedness
  • astigmatism
  • detached retina
  • color blindness
  • cataracts
  • strabismus
  • glaucoma
  • macular degeneration
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Sensory > Sight > Smell