Blind Low Vision (BLV) Early Intervention Program
Vision loss affects every aspect of child development, putting a child who is blind or has low vision at significant risk for developmental delays. ErinoakKids is the lead agency for the BLV Program In Central West Ontario and partners with KidsAbility to provide services within this program. Trained professionals help the children and their parents learn how to best promote their child’s growth and development.
Services May Include:
- Family Support: Our Family Support Workers (FSWs) are social workers with Masters Degrees, and they are specially trained to help parents and children when a child is blind or has low vision. Your FSW will help you understand your child’s special situation and make informed choices about services for your child. Your FSW will also help you find out whether you qualify for funding assistance for your child’s care.
- Intervention: Our Early Childhood Vision Consultants (ECVCs) are specially trained to teach parents how to help their child discover the world around them, to develop language and the skills required for daily living – at home, in the community, and at play with other children. Our ECVCs will also teach parents and each child how to make the most of any vision the child does have, and how to use all other senses – hearing, touch, taste and smell- to learn.
- Child Care Consultation: When a child is enrolled in a child care or early learning setting, the ECVC will help the staff at the centre learn how to best adapt the environment and learning program for the child.
- The family must live in Waterloo Region or Guelph-Wellington
- The child can be any age up to school entry age
- An ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who is an eye specialist) must diagnose the child with blindness or low vision
How to Make a Referral:
Parents, or someone with written consent from the parents, can refer the child to ErinoakKids
. Parents can do this after they receive the diagnosis of the child’s vision problem, or before, if they anticipate the child will need our services. If you think your child will qualify for this program but don’t have the formal diagnosis yet, you may contact ErinoakKids Client Services Intake Centre
. They will help you find the services you need.