Since 85 percent of all early learning occurs through vision, children who are born with (or acquire in early childhood) blindness or low vision are at greater risk for developmental delays and communicative disorders.

The Blind-Low Vision (BLV) Early Intervention Program will ensure that families receive the services and resources they need to support the healthy development of their child from birth until school entry.

Family Support

Family Support Workers support families throughout the diagnostic process, and are available to provide family support, service coordination and counselling as needed during the child’s involvement in the program.

Early Intervention

Early Childhood Vision Consultants from CNIB or Surrey Place Centre provide in-home service delivery focusing on helping parents support the development of their child.

Child Care Consultation

Early Childhood Vision Consultants assist child care providers to understand and respond to the needs of children living with visual impairment who are integrated into early learning and child care settings.

Public Awareness and Professional/Parent Education

Family Support Workers and Early Childhood Vision Consultants offer workshops, presentations and parent education sessions regarding developmental milestones for vision, visual disorders and support services.

Determine If Your Patient is Eligible

Eligibility Criteria
Diagnosed visual impairment* that is impacting the child’s development and access to learning

* Visual impairment defined by:

  • 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

Note: Although a child needs a diagnosis from an ophthalmologist to receive services, parents with concerns about their child’s vision can receive assistance in obtaining a diagnosis. They may also receive support while awaiting a formal diagnosis.

For Eligible Patients

Complete either one of the following forms and fax to 416-338-8511:

Referrals are also accepted by phone.