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.

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:

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.

Regional Blind - Low Vision Early Intervention Programs

Dufferin, Halton, Peel, Waterloo and Wellington
Central West Blind-Low Vision Program
or 1-877-374-6625
TTY 905-855-4925

Hamilton, Niagara, Brant and Haldimand-Norfolk
905-385-7927 ext. 221
or 1-866-826-4327 ext. 221

Kenora Rainy River
"North Words"

Kingston and counties of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Leeds, Grenville, Lanark, Hastings and Prince Edward
613-549-1232 ext. 1145
or 1-800-267-7875 ext. 1145
TTY 613-549-7692
or 1-866-299-1136

Manitoulin-Sudbury, Algoma, Cochrane, and Nipissing-Timiskaming
"Wordplay / Jeux de Mots"

Middlesex, London, Oxford, Elgin- St. Thomas, Sarnia-Lambton, Huron- Perth and Grey Bruce Owen Sound
Southwest Infant Hearing Program
or 1-877-818-8255

Ottawa, Renfrew County and Eastern counties of Prescott-Russell & Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
(Eastern Ontario Blind Low Vision Program)
(613) 688-3979
or 1-866-432-7447
TTY (613) 820-7427

Simcoe County and Muskoka-Parry Sound
Children's Development Services
or 1-800-675-1979

Thunder Bay
Children's Centre Thunder Bay
1-888-294-6630 ext. 5922

City of Toronto
Toronto Preschool Speech and Language Services
TTY 416-338-0025

Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent
"Talk 2 Me"

York Region, Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine-Ridge
Child Development Programs
TTY 905-773-7282

For more information, contact:
TTY 1-800-387-5559

Additional resources