Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired

Educational Services

A boy and woman reading a book in braille

Your visually impaired child is first of all a child. Although their vision is limited, they have the same potential as other children, and this potential can be developed with care and training. The development of this potential may be complicated if other handicapped conditions exist; however, your child will develop to their fullest potential.


The purpose of the Education Services program is to help children succeed in school. The program helps infants, children and youth with vision loss reduce developmental delays and improve progress in school. The program helps their parents or guardians access the educational system and prepare for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to help my child?

The most important thing you can do is to offer your support as he/she grows to maturity. One of the biggest factors that contributes to a child's independence is whether the parent adopts a positive outlook and then transmits that to the child. A positive outlook encourages a child to develop to his/her full potential, realizing that he/she will have successes and failures, but that ultimately, the failures can be overcome and independence achieved.

How do I refer a child for services?

You can either call the agency's toll free telephone number (1.800.622.2155) or contact the regional office closest to your home.

What services for infants and their families are provided through the Education Services Program?

As members of the “Infants and Toddlers Connection of Virginia” early intervention coordinating councils, the agency's education coordinators offer support and technical assistance to infants, their families, and infant development program staff. Specifically, the education services program can offer:

  • resources that will increase parents’ awareness of the needs of infants who are blind or visually impaired.
  • information about independent living skills, communication skills, orientation and mobility, and visual development as they relate to infants with visual disabilities.
  • suggestions and guidance for parenting a child who is blind or visual impaired.

What services are provided through the Education Services Program?

Education Services Program staff provide consultation, technical assistance, and training for families, early intervention staff, and public school staff who teach blind infants and children who are blind or visually impaired. Information includes, but is not limited to:

  • community resources
  • adaptive materials
  • educational programs
  • independent living
  • recreational planning

Who should I contact if I feel my child's rights have been violated or that he/she is discriminated against?

  • Your local school division’s Administrator of Special Education
  • Department of Education
    Parent Ombudsman
    James Monroe Building; 101 N. 14th Street; Richmond, VA 23219
    Phone: 804-371-7420 or 800-422-2083
  • The Department for the Rights of the Disabled
    Monroe Building, 101 N. 14th Street; Richmond, VA 23219
    Toll Free: 1-800/552-3962
  • Virginia Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (VAAPVi)
    PO Box 1523; Chesterfield VA, 23832
    Phone: 804-938-1624

Education Services Resource Documents

Find other external website resources for Education Services on the Resources page.

Program Director Information

For further information, please contact Caren Phipps, Director of Services for Children and Youth.
Telephone: (804) 625-3972
Toll Free: (800) 622-2155
Email: Caren Phipps

This File Was Last Modified: Wednesday November 04 2015