Blind and Low Vision
Ontario’s Blind and Low Vision (BLV) program offers services to children who are blind or have low vision, and their families.
Our program is available to children from birth until age the age of six.
Our goal is to provide you with information and support so that you can help your child to develop the skills they need for daily activities. Services can take place in the child’s home, childcare environment, or community setting.
Close to 85% of a child’s early learning occurs through vision.
Children who are born with a visual impairment or who may develop one in early childhood are at a greater risk for:
- Developmental delays
- Communicative disorders
The Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre coordinates services for Eastern Ontario, which includes:
• Renfrew County
• The United Counties of Prescott-Russell
• The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Services are delivered in partnership with CHEO.
The family support worker can:
- Help you to understand your child’s diagnosis
- Provide information and explain the types of services available
- Schedule a home visit with an Early Childhood Blind-Low Vision consultant who will assess the needs of your child and family and provide resources
Our goal is to ensure that you have all the information needed to choose the best services for your child.
A child with a visual impairment may rely on their senses to learn about the world around them. Support from a trained professional will help them to learn skills necessary for their development
Intervention services are offered by Early Childhood Vision consultants in your home.
The consultant is there to teach you how to support your child’s development in these areas:
- Intentional movement (orientation and mobility)
- Motor skills (e.g., rolling, reaching, crawling, walking and use of hands to explore objects)
- Daily living skills (e.g., eating, dressing and toileting)
- Concept development (e.g., identify objects, their use and qualities)
- Social and emotional development
- Language and communication development
- Providing strategies to parents to help develop their child’s functional vision
- How to make the most of residual vision
- How to use all of the senses to promote development
- Infant massage to help with bonding and relaxation
When a child enters an early learning and care setting, our vision consultants will help the staff learn how to support your child.
How does my child qualify for the program?
A referral to our program can be made by:
- A physician
- An ophthalmologist
- An optometrist
- A parent or legal guardian who has concerns for their child’s vision
Our program can provide your family with services even before your child has been diagnosed.
Diagnostic testing for blindness or low vision is done by an ophthalmologist.
Please call 613-688-3979 or 1-866-432-7447 ext. 3408. Referrals may also be faxed to 613-820-7427.
If you have concerns about your child’s vision, do not wait. Early intervention is important and gives your child the best opportunity for healthy development.
To learn more about your child's vision, click here.
613-688-3979 or 1-866-432-7447 ext. 3408