Blindness and low vision

Ontario’s Blind – Low Vision Early Intervention Program is designed to give children who are born blind or with low vision the best possible start in life. Specialized family-centred services are funded by the province and are available for children from birth to Grade 1.

Learn about services for children who are blind or have low vision.

Information for professionals

Supporting children blind or low vision info for physicians (English and French)

Family support

The program provides support to parents when their child has been diagnosed with blindness or low vision. These services are provided by family support workers who are graduate-level social workers specially trained in the impact of a visual impairment on child development.

The family support worker will help the family understand and cope with the implications of the diagnosis and help them make informed decisions about support services.

Intervention services

For a child with visual impairment, touch, hearing and the use of remaining or residual vision are critically important for learning and development. Support by trained and knowledgeable professionals in the area of visual impairment is essential to help the child develop these senses to the best of his or her ability.

Intervention services are provided by specially trained early childhood blind/low vision consultants in the family’s home. The consultant teaches parents how to support their child’s development in the following areas:

  • intentional movement (orientation and mobility)
  • development of motor skills (e.g., rolling, reaching, crawling, walking, and use of hands to manipulate and explore objects)
  • daily living skills (e.g., eating, dressing, toileting)
  • concept development (e.g., object identification, function, and characteristics)
  • social and emotional development
  • language and communication development
  • how to make the most of residual vision
  • how to use all the senses to promote development

Consultation services

When your child enters a child care or early learning centre, Blind – Low Vision Program staff will help the early childhood educators at that centre learn how to best work with and teach your child.

More information:

Call 1-866-821-7770 for more information.

Find more information on programs in your region.