Overview

Children who are legally blind, ages 3-12, may receive assistance through our Children’s Services. Our counselors provide direct assistance with adjustment to blindness/vision loss and coordinate a variety of other applicable resources. We also assist with addressing the needs of children who are legally blind children and who have multiple disabilities.

An updated Eye Examination Report from the child’s eye care specialist is required to determine eligibility for services. A counselor will follow up with the parents or legal guardian to arrange an appointment in your home to discuss services your child may be eligible to receive.

At age 13, children are referred to Transition Services, which is part of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. These students may be eligible for the Summer Teen program, which emphasizes and reinforces independent living skills, orientation and mobility, Braille skills, vocational interests and interviewing skills for employment.

Services

Services for children who are blind or have a visual impairment may include:

  • Counseling and guidance for parents to understand vision loss and plan for the future
  • Workshops and support groups for families
  • Summer programs and independent living skills (socialization and recreation programs)
  • Consultation and coordination with community resources

Community-based early intervention programs can assist families with obtaining appropriate services from professionals with specialized training in visual impairments and early childhood development.

Children’s Services counselors coordinate with several agencies and organizations to ensure all issues are appropriately addressed.

Our counselors conduct thorough assessments to identify the specific needs of children and their families. Family input is an integral part of the process. The assessments result in the development of Individualized Service Plans, which outlines goals and determines services to be provided (and is updated each year).

Children’s Services counselors also assist with the transition to preschool programs at age 3. While children are in school, our counselors attend the annual Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting and may provide adaptive material and equipment such as talking calculators, mobility canes, Braille rulers and other items to assist children with completing school assignments. The items needed will vary depending on individual abilities and needs.

Children’s Services counselors may refer children to SCCB’s Low Vision Clinics for evaluations and possible provision of low-vision devices and instruction on how to use them. Children may benefit from magnifiers, monoculars and special sun shields.