DeEtte Snyder, Associate Director of Outreach, Birth to Five, Blind and Visually Impaired
360-947-3305 (Voicemail available)
The Washington State School for the Blind’s Birth to 3 Program is committed to providing specialized services for infants and children who are blind or have low vision, no matter where they live in the state. It is well documented in research of learning, that almost 80-90% of what a child learns in the first 3 years of life occurs using vision and incidental learning. When a child does not have vision, or has low vision, they will still learn to play with toys, crawl and walk through their environments, explore the world, and build meaningful relationships with their families, however they may do this in a different way, with the use of other senses. Due to the developmental impact of blindness and low vision, it is critical that early identification and appropriate interventions supports begin immediately to support children, and their families, to reach their full early learning potential!
Who should be referred to WSSB for blind and low vision support and services?
- Any child between the ages of birth to 2 years, 11 months of age who has a diagnosis of a vision condition documented by a pediatric ophthalmologist that has a high probability to lead to a visual impairment.
- The WSSB Birth to 3 Program works with local ESIT Provider Agencies (EPA) to connect family and IFSP team members to a local blind and low vision provider or provide the services directly.
Who can refer a child to WSSB for vision support and services? Anyone!
Complete this referral form: Online Request for Consult
Services and Supports
- One time consultations to explore concerns regarding a child using their vision or other sensory modalities.
- Evaluation and ongoing services from certified teacher of the visually impaired (TVI) and certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS) through individual contracts with ESIT Provider Agency (EPA).
- Professional development opportunities (group and individual) for early intervention teams regarding issues regarding blindness and low vision and the unique learning style of children with limited use of vision.
- Emotional and informational resources to families, such as weekend learning workshops and opportunities to connect with other families.
- Washington Sensory Disability Services – WSDS
- Washington State Department of Services for the Blind – DSB
- Washington Talking Book and Braille Library – WTBBL
- Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT)
Resources for Parents
- Family Connect through AFB (American Foundation for the Blind)
- Wonder Baby through Perkins School for the Blind
- Little Bear Sees
Parent Infant Playgroup (PIP)
PIP is temporarily cancelled while campus is closed to the public, but hopefully we can resume when it is safe to gather again.