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Visual Impairment

Our team sees children with known visual impairment and developmental concerns.
Your team

​Who are we?

Your team can include a developmental pediatricianBoywithairplane.jpgpsychologist, a speech-language pathologist, a nurse clinician, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a recreation therapist, a social worker, an audiologists and vision consultants. We also work closely with ophthalmologists

What do we do?


  • help you understand your child’s vision loss and how that may affect your child’s learning and development needs
  • provide assessments to identify ways to assist your child to develop to his or her full potential
  • work with you and your community team members to develop a plan to support your child’s development
  • help provide resources, consultation, and information that will guide you as your child grows

Your appointment

Please arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of your appointment time and check in with our receptionist at the main entrance on Slocan street.

Please bring any equipment your child uses to all appointments, for example:

  • eyeglasses
  • hearing aids and spare batteries
  • communication device
  • white cane

If your child takes regular medication (such as for ADHD), be sure he or she takes the dose as usual unless you are told not to.


Vision Resources

Educational videos and DVDs

The Visual Impairment Program has produced educational videos and DVDs. They are available for purchase online.
  • Cortical Visual Impairment in Young Children (available in DVD)
  • Help Your Child See (available in VHS and DVD)
  • Orientation and Mobility: Moving Toward Independence - The Early Years (available in DVD) 

Cortical Visual Impairment in Young Children 
15 minutes
Winner of AACPDM's 1997 Sage Award – Most Outstanding Video

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is now the most common cause of visual disturbance in children. This is due to increased survival of children with significant brain damage, as well as increased awareness and diagnosis of this condition. It is frequently seen in children who were born prematurely, and those with multiple neurological disorders. 

This educational material was produced in response to an expressed need for information on the part of families, as well as professionals working with children who have a diagnosis of CVI. Many aspects of CVI have proven to be puzzling to parents and caregivers of children with this condition. We have filmed/or documented eight children with varying degrees of CVI to illustrate specific signs and symptoms of the disorder and to demonstrate appropriate intervention techniques. It has also been emphasized that in most cases, children with CVI can be helped to improve their visual function. 

Technical and medical terminology has been minimized in this presentation in order to make the information accessible to the greatest number of people. The DVD is available at cost to any individual or organization that will find it useful. We are grateful to the BC Children's Hospital Miracle Network Telethon Fund for financial support, and to the families featured in the presentation.

An Order Form is available (PDF).

Help Your Child See!

Vision Development of Young Children with Ocular Visual Impairment
22 minutes 

Help Your Child See is a video/DVD presentation that provides specific information on the different stages of visual development in young children. It also describes some of the key principles that both parents and caregivers can incorporate into daily routines to encourage their child's visual development. 

Dr. James Jan, Founder of the Visual Impairment Program, states, “The recognition that visual skills do not develop automatically was revolutionary. We used to see children with visual impairment who had a very inefficient visual sense. We don’t see this any more because parents, with the support of professionals, have worked very hard to encourage their children’s visual development. The fact that visual efficiency can be improved is one of the greatest medical achievements in the last 30 years.”

VHS Order Form (PDF) 
DVD Order Form (PDF)

Orientation and mobility: Moving towards independence, the early years

Assisting children with visual impairments to move as safely and independently as possible
25 minutes

Orientation and Mobility, often referred as O&M, is the ongoing development of skills to assist children with visual impairment to move as safely and independently as possible. Through activities that encourage freedom of movement, children who are visually impaired can gain a better understanding of the world around them and learn to move confidently.

DVD Order Form (PDF) 


Cortical Visual Impairment in Young Children, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, 2010.  
Visual Impairment Program, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, 2010. 

Online family & recreation resources

Summer camps

Funding information

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See the glossary for definitions of the words used on this page.
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