Eye Health News

Legally blind triathlete sues over "Blackout Goggles"

Aaron Scheidies, a legally blind triathlete, is suing over a rule that requires all blind competitors to wear “Blackout Goggles” that completely block one’s vision. The stipulation was made by the International Triathlon Union in 2010 and followed by USA triathlon, with the goal of leveling the playing field among blind triathletes. This was done after triathlons moved to a single blindness category among competitors instead of the three category system that previously existed. Scheidies has lost nearly all of his vision due to juvenile macular degeneration, but still retains peripheral eyesight. Further blinding athletes like himself, Scheidies argues, is not only unsafe for those wearing the goggles and the athletes nearby, but is also a violation of the American Disability Act. “For my entire life, I’ve learned how to adapt to the vision that I do have and now they want to take that away from me and others,” he said. Scheidies is not seeking any compensation, only a rescindment of the rule that he believes violates federal law.*

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