Blind Low-Vision Early Intervention Program
Vision Services provides child and family centred education, services and support for parents of children who were born blind or with low vision so that they can support the healthy development of their child.
Services provided to children focus on acquiring skills needed to perform daily activities required for personal and social sufficiency at home, in early learning and care settings, and at school.
A child may access the services of the Blind Low Vision Early Intervention Program through ErinoakKids if:
- They are a resident of Ontario in one of the following regions: Dufferin, Guelph-Wellington, Halton, Peel, or Waterloo
- Child's age is between birth and school entry
- Families have obtained, or are in the process of obtaining, a diagnosis of visual impariment for their child which involves:
- Visual acuity of no better than 20/70 in the better eye after correction
- Visual field restriction to 20 degrees or less
- A physical condition of the visual system which cannot be medically corrected and as such affects visual functioning to the extent that specially designed intervention is needed. The criterion is reserved for special situations such as, cortical visual impairment, delayed visual maturation and/ or a progressive visual loss where acuity and field deficits alone may not meet the criteria
Referrals can be made by anyone; however the presence of one of more of the conditions listed above must be confirmed by an ophthamologist.
Note: as part of a completed referral or following a referral, a completed Vision/Eye Report is required for services to begin:
If you have concerns about a child’s vision, don’t wait. The sooner a problem is identified, the sooner the child can receive early intervention services that support the development of their functional vision and sensory skills.
Potential Red Flags for vision concerns
- Does not make eye contact
- Does not watch or follow an object by 3 months of age
- Frequent wiggling, drifting, or jerky eye movements
- One or both eyes turning in or out
- Holding objects close to eyes
- Turning or tilting head when looking
- Closing or covering one eye when looking
- Senstivity to bright lights
- Staring at lights and windows
- Haziness or whitish appearance of the pupil
- Drooping eyelids
In addition, if your child is not meeting any of these vision milestones, talk to your family physician
External Vision Resources
Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)