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Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

Geordi La Forge was born blind

Blindness was the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or psychological factors. There are varying degrees of blindness, ranging from minor visual impairment to total loss of eyesight.

Causes of blindness

Most visual impairments are caused by disease and malnutrition, though blindness could also be caused by various abnormalities, injuries, genetic defects and poisoning. Temporary vision loss could also be a side effect of some vaccinations. (Star Trek)

Attitudes towards blindness

On Earth, the practice of institutionalizing the blind in asylums had a history extending back into the 9th century, and it was not until the 18th century that authorities created schools where blind children, particularly those more privileged, could obtain an education in specialized settings. Despite the negative connotations associated with blindness, many blind Humans throughout history led rich lives despite their handicap, including the famous poets Homer and John Milton, artist Claude Monet, and musician Stevie Wonder. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")

Romulans killed children who were born with blindness or other such defects. When La Forge told Bochra that he had been born blind, he asked incredulously "And your parents let you live?", stating that the Human race was weak because "You waste time and resources on defective children." (TNG: "The Enemy")

On some planets, genetic engineering was utilized to ensure that blindness is a condition of the past. On Moab IV, someone with such a disability would have been terminated as a fertilized egg. (TNG: "The Masterpiece Society")

Adaptive technologies for the blind

A sensor web being worn over ordinary clothing in 2268

The VISOR in 2364

  • A sensor web was a garment of finely woven sensor units, typically utilized by the blind during the 23rd century. The web could be worn naturally over everyday clothing, and emitted low-level sonar scans undetectable to the Human senses. The web then translated the return signals into media perceptible by the trained wearer. Dr. Miranda Jones wore such a web which she used, along with her telepathic prowess, to hide her blindness from others. (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")
  • The VISOR was an external medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who had suffered loss of eyesight. The VISOR detected electromagnetic signals across the entire EM spectrum, and transmitted those signals to the brain through neural implants in the temples of the individual via delta-compressed wavelengths. Geordi La Forge, born blind, was given a VISOR after his fifth birthday. (TNG: "Hero Worship")

Blind species

  • Aenar, intelligent beings native to the planet Andoria, were completely blind, though they had highly-evolved telepathic abilities that largely compensated for it.
  • The Tiberian bat was a blind, winged mammal.

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