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Services

​​​​​​Vision loss rehabilitation therapy helps people with all levels of vision loss to develop or restore key daily living skills, helping enhance their independence, safety and mobility. Ophthalmologists, optometrists and other health care professionals may refer you for this therapy as a part of your overall care plan. 

Vision loss rehabilitation therapy is provided by certified specialists, who will work with you to create a personalized rehabilitation plan to meet your needs and goals. 

Your program may include one or more of the following services:

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Program

All people with Diabetes who are over 12 years old should receive regular eye screenings. Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the leading causes of vision loss in Canada and is the most frequent cause of new cases of blindness among adults younger than 75. Research has shown that early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care can reduce the risk of vision loss by 95 per cent.

VLRC has developed a Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Program in partnership with community organizations to provide screenings for Diabetic Retinopathy. It allows health care providers increased mobility to reach individuals in more remote locations. Digital photographs are taken of both retinas using a portable hand-held fundus camera. The images are uploaded into an automated Diabetic Retinopathy screening software, approved by Health Canada and a report is provided at point of care. Retinal imaging can occur as part of routine diabetic or health care appointments.

A referral is then made to Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada who will coordinate the required follow-up care with the client’s GP and/or appropriate eye care professional.

The Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Program aims to reduce the risk of vision loss by the early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Currently these services are being offered in Ontario only. Click here for Diabetic Retinopathy Community Referral Form.

If you are outside of Ontario, please contact Josie McGee (Josie.McGee@vlrehab.ca).

Low vision services

If you have low vision, learning to use the sight you have left can be life-changing. Our certified specialists can:

  • Provide a functional vision assessment designed for people with low vision
  • Explain eye diseases and how they affect vision in an easy-to-understand way
  • Teach techniques for maximizing eyesight, like how to use lighting and contrast  
  • Give one-on-one instruction on helpful sight-enhancing devices, like specialty magnifiers

Essential skills for daily l​iving

Our certified specialists can help you build the skills you need to live safely and independently with vision loss. This may include helping you: 

  • Learn safe methods of pouring a cup of coffee, preparing a meal and using household appliances
  • Discover simple techniques for labelling medications, identifying money, using the phone and organizing household items
  • Learn how to use large-print, braille and audio products, and adaptive technology as a part of day-to-day life
  • Find community programs, financial subsidies and other helpful resources available in your local area  ​

Travel and mobility instruction

Learning to travel independently with vision loss is an essential skill. Our certified specialists can help you learn how to:

  • Use the guiding techniques: comfortable way to walk with a sighted person, the ability to use remaining vision and other senses to travel.
  • Use a white cane and other mobility tools.
  • Find and cross intersections. 
  • Ride public transit with confidence to reach community resources like the grocery store, bank or shopping mall. 
  • Navigate new environments like a workplace or school campus

Services for children and families

Our services help children and youth reach developmental milestones and build social skills, as well as provide parents and caregivers with strategies for raising a child who is blind or partially sighted.

Our Services include:

  • The Early Intervention Program opens the door to opportunity providing children opportunities to develop skills in self-help, motor, play, cognitive, sensory, social and literacy including pre-braille skills.
  • The School Age Program provides support and consultation for the child, family and educators through ACCESS and peer programs. Assessment, recommendations and training for independent living skills, adaptive technology, employment, orientation and mobility, functional low vision. Services through ACCESS are requested through the child’s school division. The Access form can be downloaded here.
  • Develop individual rehabilitation plans based on ongoing assessments for children and youth.
  • Make referrals to outside agencies, and connect parents and caregivers with needed resources and information.
  • Provide support and advocate alongside families.

Assistive technology services

Our services help working-age adults who are blind or partially sighted to have the equipment and education for maximizing their quality of life through the use of the latest adaptive technology

Employment and career counselling

Our services assist working-age adults who are blind or partially sighted have the capacity to obtain and maintain employment and employment skills. 

Adjustment to Vision Loss Counselling

Counselling is critical to people coming to terms with their vision loss. Understanding and dealing with their emotions and accepting support and training will allow them to live independent, active lives.

Services may include:

  • Structured one-on-one adjustment to vision loss counselling sessions facilitated by a trained professional. These sessions are designed to help individuals adjust to the social and emotional impact of vision loss.
  • Connecting clients to community programs, financial supports and other helpful resources available in their local area.