Young children with visual impairments face special challenges as they develop and grow and no parent is prepared for a baby who is blind or has vision loss. The Early Childhood Program provides services for infants and toddlers with visual loss, from birth through the age of five.
Services are provided in the home or pre-school by certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI). Teachers use play to assess a child’s functional vision and to help the child explore the environment by making use of other senses. Teachers also provide parents with information and strategies to encourage the parents to interact with their infant. This collaborative parent-teacher training further promotes the child’s skill development, self-sufficiency, and social development and facilitates the child’s eventual transition to pre-school and kindergarten.
Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center programs are funded by the Florida Department of Education, Florida Division of Blind Services, The Manatee Board of County Commissioners, The Sarasota School Board, private contributions, bequests and fundraising activities.