Floridians with low vision can benefit from bioptics even if they cannot use them to drive.

Henry Greene, OD, FAAOBioptic Driving, Low Vision ResourcesLeave a Comment

Image of palm trees in florida with title, Visually Impaired and Living in Florida
Image of palm trees in florida with title, Visually Impaired and Living in Florida

There is more to bioptics than just driving in Florida

Losing one’s drivers license or never being eligible for one because of reduced vision is undoubtedly a bummer.  There are ways to get around without driving yourself, but the independence and enhanced quality of life one gains from being able to drive (not to mention the ‘right of passage’ of a driver’s license for teenagers) is hard to argue. Most US states have adopted bioptic driving laws, allowing individuals with a certain acuity and degree of peripheral vision to be eligible for full or restricted license privileges.

Unfortunately, Florida is one of the few remaining states in the Union that does not allow visually impaired individuals to obtain a driver’s license while wearing a bioptic telescope.

What is the current licensing requirements in Florida?

Date last verified: August 2018

  • Bioptic driving is NOT allowed
  • Bioptic is NOT permitted to meet visual standards
  • Minimum visual acuity of 20/70 for an unrestricted license
  • Minimum visual acuity of 20/40 if one eye is 20/200 or worse
  • Field of view must be at least 130 degrees

So, if I cannot use a bioptic to drive in Florida, why should I use one?

There’s more to life than driving… really!  And bioptic telescopes for low vision can be part of making your life experiences as positive and enjoyable as you choose to make it.  Can’t see your friends, family or co-workers from across the room? Can’t read the sports score on TV? Can’t read the menu on the wall of the restaurant?  Can’t read the computer screen or play music or card games.  Can’t see well enough to play shuffleboard or bowl? Don’t want to go out because you can’t recognize people at a distance? Feel left out because you don’t feel visually connected?  Bioptics can help in all these ways and even more.

Bioptic telescopes can help individuals with 20/200 see 20/40, and maybe even better.  You’ll see virtually as well as a normally-sighted person.  Granted, they look a little weird (most folks think they’re cool once they realize how much better they can see with them… promise!), and there a few things you’ll have to learn.  Bioptics have changed the lives of the visually impaired whether they are in their teens, twenties, or even nineties!  You owe it to yourself to check them out. They may not get you behind the wheel in Florida, but at least they will help you see where you’re going and when you get there!

For more information on Ocutech bioptics visit our webpage at www.ocutech.com or email info@ocutech.com for a referral.

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