Florida Division of Blind Services logo

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What services does the Children's Program offer?
Services are individualized according to you and your child's needs. Services can include early intervention related to eye condition issues, school contact, personal adjustment services, aids and appliances, parent and family education, information & referral for other appropriate services, career and other counseling, strategies to help your child's unique learning, and other services as may be determined.
My child isn't totally blind. Are there still services he or she can benefit from?
Yes. Most children served by the Children's Program are visually impaired, not totally blind. Children with visual impairments and their families can still benefit from many of the same services as would be extended a child that is totally blind.
Who does the Children's Program provide services for?
The Children's Program provides services for children from birth through 21 years of age, who have a diagnosed bilateral visual impairment which will effect the child's ability to learn, to function independently in the home or school, or to become employed.
How can I find out if my child qualifies for your services?
Contact your local Division of Blind Services Office and ask to speak with the Children's Program Specialist. He or she can help determine if there is enough information available to decide if your child is eligible. If there is not enough information, the Specialist will talk with you about seeing an eye doctor to obtain the needed information on your child's visual impairment.
Can my children who are visually impaired attend a regular school, or will they have to go to a special school?
Your children can attend a regular school if that is the family's preference. With a Teacher of the Visually Impaired to assist, a child can participate in education with sighted peers. However, a special school for the visually impaired is an educational option.
Can the Children and Families Program assist my children with obtaining appropriate services at their current schools?
At your request, the Children and Families Program Specialist can join you at your child's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings, and can advocate for appropriate services for your child.
Would it be to my advantage to have a Children and Families Program Specialist attend my child's IEP meeting?
Yes. Specialists serve as advocates help ensure parent concerns and goals for their child are addressed. It is recommended parents contact their Specialist with as much advance notice as possible to avoid schedule conflicts and review important information in preparation for the meeting.
What assistance can the Children and Families Program give to my child's classroom teacher?
The Children and Families Program Specialist can assist the classroom teacher in methods of adapting tests for the child, helping to create a more inclusive classroom environment, provide eye medical information, and conduct in-service training for teaching staff or classes on vision-related issues.
Would the Children's Program assist my child with glasses?
The Children's Program will sponsor this service based on economic need and on the recommendation of an optometrist, physician, or local community health program, and providing all community resources and insurance have denied the authorization.
Can the Children's Program assist me in locating appropriate recreational activities for my visually impaired child?
The Children's Program can assist in identifying, referring, and/or coordinating social/recreational programs and activities in your area, including summer camp opportunities.