Vision services

Most prematurely born infants are screened for “Retinopathy of Prematurity”, and for most infants this resolves around the time they were expected to be born (mother’s original due date). Even though “ROP” may no longer be an issue it is still important to have your infant/child’s vision checked regularly. These vision examinations are not like the ROP tests which involved looking at the back of the eye (retina).

Regular vision checks assess how well your infant/child sees and for other issues like “lazy eye” or strabismus. All children, including those born prematurely should have regular vision checks, especially as they approach school age since good vision is so important to how your child learns. These examinations can be done by an Ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor) and you can discuss a referral with your child’s pediatrician or family doctor.

In some areas, Ophthalmologists who sees young infants/children are quite limited in number. A very reasonable alternative is an Optometrist (eye doctor, but not a medical doctor) and this does not require a referral from your child’s pediatrician or family doctor. Optometry assessments are covered for children up to the age of 20 years under Ontario’s health plan. Visit for more information about Optometrists and how to find one.

Some children born prematurely will experience more difficulties with vision and may require additional therapies. Services for children who have low vision or blindness are provided at no cost through the Ontario Ministry for Child and Youth Services. For more information, visit the Ministry for Child and Youth Services website.

Contact information:

(in many areas access to vision and hearing services is through the same contact number)

Dufferin, Halton, Peel, Waterloo and Wellington
Central West Blind-Low Vision Program
or 1-877-374-6625
TTY 905-855-4925

Hamilton, Niagara, Brant and Haldimand-Norfolk
905-385-7927 ext. 221
or 1-866-826-4327 ext. 221

Kenora Rainy River
“North Words”

Kingston and counties of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Leeds, Grenville, Lanark, Hastings and Prince Edward
613-549-1232 ext. 1145
or 1-800-267-7875 ext. 1145
TTY 613-549-7692
or 1-866-299-1136

Manitoulin-Sudbury, Algoma, Cochrane, and Nipissing-Timiskaming
“Wordplay / Jeux de Mots”

Middlesex, London, Oxford, Elgin- St. Thomas, Sarnia-Lambton, Huron- Perth and Grey Bruce Owen Sound
Southwest Infant Hearing Program
or 1-877-818-8255

Ottawa, Renfrew County and Eastern counties of Prescott-Russell & Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
(Eastern Ontario Blind Low Vision Program)
(613) 688-3979
or 1-866-432-7447
TTY (613) 820-7427

Simcoe County and Muskoka-Parry Sound
Children’s Development Services
or 1-800-675-1979

Thunder Bay
Children’s Centre Thunder Bay
1-888-294-6630 ext. 5922

City of Toronto
Toronto Preschool Speech and Language Services
TTY 416-338-0025

Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent
“Talk 2 Me”

York Region, Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine-Ridge
Child Development Programs
TTY 905-773-7282