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

Your plan 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. Click here for Diabetic Retinopathy Community Referral Form.

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 living

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 who are blind or partially sighted gain the skills they need to grow into successful, confident adults. Our specialists will:

  • Give children the support they need, like braille preparation, tactile learning sessions and peer programs
  • Provide parents with educational materials, access to local resources, and workshops on raising a child who is blind or partially-sighted
Pre-school children are eligible to receive services through Ontario's Blind and Low Vision Program​. Find out more about how to get started in the Blind and Low Vision Program on our Getting Started page.

​Assistive technology services

Our services help you discover a world of technology products - from accessible audio book players, to video magnifiers, to computer screen readers and other items that can help make life with vision loss easier. Our certified specialists will:

  • Provide you with an assessment and provide recommendations on assistive technologies that meet your specific needs
  • Show you how to use your assistive technologies, to help make the process as easy as possible
  • Help you get the tools you need for your workplace or schooling
  • Help you find out what financial supports you might be eligible to receive for the purchase of assistive products through the Ontario Assistive Device Program