As of April 1, 2022, Toronto Public Health is no longer providing Preschool Speech and Language, Blind-Low Vision and Infant Hearing programs. These programs have moved from Toronto Public Health to Surrey Place. To make a referral or for more information, please contact Surrey Place at 416-925-5141. Learn more about this change.

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, communication and learning delays.

The Blind-Low Vision (BLV) Early Intervention Program provides services and resources to families, 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

To access these services in Toronto, contact Surrey Place. For services in other regions, please visit the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.