The New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NMSBVI) provides statewide direct services to families of young children who have a diagnosed visual impairment or who are considered to be at risk for receiving a VI diagnosis. Services are a partnership with NMSBVI, New Mexico’s Family, Infant, Toddler Program (FIT) and the Navajo Nation; all children are served by IFSP team decision. Services are delivered in the family home or in another community environment that supports the child and his/her family.
Who should be referred to NMSBVI?
Any child between the ages of birth and three years old:
Any child who has been diagnosed with a vision impairment
Any child who has an established condition that places them at risk for vision impairment; Established conditions can include but are not limited to: prematurity, syndromes, a family history of visual impairment, or traumatic events such as oxygen deprivation, meningitis, or shaken baby syndrome
Any child whose family or team is concerned about some aspect of the child’s vision
Any child whose results on the New Mexico Vision Screening Tool indicate need for referral.
Who can make a referral to NMSBVI?
Anyone who has concerns about a child’s vision can, with the family’s permission, make a referral. Referrals can be made by calling 1-800-437-3505, extension 3066 or by calling the Developmental Vision Specialist responsible for an agency’s referrals. (Please see attached list of contacts by area of the state). List of specialists p>
What happens after a referral is made?
Within 48 hours of receiving a referral, a developmental vision specialist from NMSBVI will contact the family. An initial functional vision evaluation will be completed; eligibility will be determined and, in conjunction with the family and the child’s team, services will be outlined if recommended.
What services are available from NMSBVI for infants and toddlers?
Consultation to the family and/or community service providers, therapists, etc.
Direct services to the child and family;
Functional Vision Evaluations;
Developmental intervention strategies to support the development of visual/compensatory visual skills;
Information about blindness/visual impairment;
Referral and resource information for families;
Consultation/participation in agency assessments;
Participation in IFSP and other team meetings;
Orientation and Mobility Evaluations;
Orientation and Mobility Services for children and families;
Orientation and Mobility Consultation and Training for Teams and Agencies;
Transition support from birth to three to preschool programs;
Parent support; and
Training for child-specific teams as well as for organizations seeking additional knowledge about vision and its impact on development.
NMSBVI is committed to providing a comprehensive program of developmental, educational, training and support services to infants and toddlers who are blind or visually impaired or those who are at risk for visual impairment. NMSBVI’s developmental vision specialists are trained as teachers of the visually impaired and/or as orientation and mobility specialists. They have specialized skills in the field of early childhood that encompass the developmental domains of young children. NMSBVI’s services do not replace, but supplement other specialized services in the community. Services are available state-wide; each child is served in his/her natural environment.
For More Information Contact:
Family-Infant-Toddler Program Coordinator:
Cindy Faris, Program Coordinator
NMSBVI Early Childhood Programs
801 Stephen Moody St. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123
(800) 437-3505, extension 3066
Fax: (505) 291-5456
Vision training is provided to New Mexico Early Intervention agencies as well as other agencies serving children birth to three. Please contact the NMSBVI Developmental Vision Specialist serving your area or Cindy Faris at 505-859-0427 for more information.