What is Albinism?

Albinism results when people are born with less pigment in their skin, hair or eyes than most people. Vision changes are a common result, and the lack of pigmentation may correlate with the amount of vision.

The US National Organisation for Albinism and Hypopigmentation currently recognises seven different main types, some of which result in very low vision, and some of which are more common in one gender than another.

Who can have Albinism

Albinism is found in every ethnicity on earth, and is usually inherited from both parents who have regular pigment.

The prevalence of Albinism is about five times higher in some African countries than in the rest of the world. Although it is still largely surrounded in myth, its causes are purely genetic. There is no genetic test to screen for albinism.

What can People with Albinism See?

Albinism is associated with various eye conditions, some of which are correctable with surgery. Some people with albinism can drive a car, while others are legally blind.

People can be sensitive to glare, but this does not tend to be the heightened sensitivity experienced by people with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Light is better placed over a person’s shoulder rather than in front of them when working indoors.

Assistive Technology

>People with albinism may use various magnifiers, and will be more likely to use screen magnification software such as Zoomtext rather than screen reading software such as JAWS. Talk with Elise and the team about which equipment may help you.