Services for Children Who are Blind or Have 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.

The program provides education and support for parents so they can encourage the healthy development of their children. Parents learn to help their children develop the skills they need for daily activities at home and in early learning and care settings.

Without special support from an early age, a child who is blind or has low vision may have trouble learning to talk, explore and make friends when they begin school. A child who is blind or has low vision is at a significant risk for difficulties in all areas of development, including:

  • communication and language
  • fine and gross motor skills
  • understanding and thought processes
  • social skills
  • emotional development
  • self help

With the right intervention from skilled professionals, parents can learn how to encourage the healthy development of their children, and help them learn the skills they will need to succeed in school.

Program Services

When children are diagnosed with blindness or low vision, a referral can be made to the local Blind – Low Vision Program by a physician, ophthalmologist, optometrist, parent or caregiver. Check the back of this brochure to find the program closest to you.

The Blind – Low Vision program offers three types of services:

  1. Family support
  2. Intervention services
  3. Consultation services

There are examples of some developmental milestones show some of the milestones that mark early vision development and the progress of young children as they grow. Watch for any signs that your baby is not meeting milestones and talk to your physician right away if you have any concerns.

If you have concerns about your child’s vision, don’t wait. The sooner a problem is identified the sooner your child can have the help they needs for the best opportunity for healthy development.

This information is available in American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes du Québec (LSQ).

This information is from the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

Last updated: August 31, 2023 4006367