Growing up as a child with low or no vision can present challenges. From your child’s early years, through school and into adulthood, our team has a wealth of knowledge and experience working with children who live with low or no vision.
We understand the impact that vision impairment can have on a child’s development. Our therapists take a holistic approach to support learning and development at home, childcare, school and in the community. This means we work with various people who are involved in different aspects of your child’s life. This might include:
- Parents, care givers and siblings
- Support workers
- Early childhood educators
- Teachers and education assistants
How to get support
If you have a child with low or no vision, please contact our friendly team to find out what low vision services and support we can provide to you both now and into the future.
Learn more about some of the low vision support groups available in Perth and wider state, which can connect you with like-minded people to build friendships and offer support.
Early childhood (0 – 6 years) is a period of rapid growth and learning. A vision impairment may impact a child’s ability to achieve their developmental milestones and it is important that you access the right support and advice.
Our services can help young children living with low vision to:
- Learn early movement skills such as sitting, crawling and walking
- Learn independence skills such as dressing, toileting or brushing their teeth
- Regulate their emotions and express themselves
- Eat and drink safely, including finger feeding and how to use a cup and cutlery
- Communicate their wants, needs and preferences
- Transition to school
Families are allocated a key worker, who is their primary contact for their child’s services at VisAbility and have access to a comprehensive therapy team. This approach is supported by best practice in Early Childhood Intervention.
School age children
Starting school is an exciting time for all children and families! Some children with low or no vision have unique learning needs, which can affect ways in which they learn, get around the school and make friends. Your therapy team will support you and your child you through every step of this exciting life stage.
Our services can help your child to:
- Learn to take care of themselves, including personal hygiene, dressing
- Communicate effectively with others to develop good friendships and connections
- Enjoy reading books and playing games
- Develop coordination and fitness to get involved in sport and leisure
- Manage emotions and express their feelings in an appropriate way and time
- Prepare them to live independently, find employment and be included in household chores
- Use equipment and technology
We run a number of group programs each week during term times, which are designed to be fully accessible and inclusive for children of all ages living with a vision impairment.
For younger children, these include:
- VisAbility Playgroup – WA’s only playgroup, specifically for children who have vision impairment
- It Takes Two To Talk – step-by-step learning to become your child’s most important communication teacher.
For school age children, these include:
- LEGO® Workshop – build key skills including problem-solving, sharing and turn-taking
Eligible students with vision impairment have access to a Visiting Teacher from the School of Special Educational Needs: Sensory – Vision Education (link opens in new window).
The Visiting Teacher service is available to all Western Australian students who meet the vision impairment criteria. Visiting Teachers provide valuable support to students and schools, in particular recommending individual teaching and learning adjustments.
The Department of Education contracts VisAbility to provide orientation and mobility services to students with vision impairment.
- Exercise Physiology
- Occupational therapy
- Orientation and mobility
- Social work
- Speech pathology
How to get support
If your child lives with vision impairment, please complete the form at the bottom of this page to make an initial enquiry. Our Client Experience Team will contact you to discuss your individual needs both now and into the future.
If your child has a disability other than vision impairment, or you have concerns around developmental delay, please find out more about services through Kites Children’s Therapy (opens in new window), including Kites Toybox (opens in new window) and Dog Assisted Therapy (opens in new window).
If your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, you may be interested in Autism Assistance Dogs (opens in new window) provided through Guide Dogs WA.
If you are a provider and wish to refer a client, please use our low vision medical certificate (online referral form) to make your referral.