BFT Banner Title
BFT Header Image

Fact Sheets

This packet will provide you with resources and information for moving ahead along the road to your child's future.  The professionals and parents writing this packet will help you to know you are not alone.  Knowledge is power.  You are the most important person in your child's life.  This is a resource for possibilities and the result of many caring people wanting to share their journey on this path.

For the complete packet, please call (323) 906-3138

English Spanish


Websites that we recommend:

Educational Services in California

Blind Babies Foundation
Blind Babies Foundation (BBF) has been providing critical early intervention and education services to infants and preschoolers who are blind or visually impaired for more than 60 years. Our family-centered services are provided in the home environment and encourage every child’s development to the fullest degree possible with careful attention to their individual abilities and needs. These intensive services can help to stimulate and enhance available vision, often preventing a further decline of visual acuity or total vision loss. As soon as a visual impairment is detected, BBF is there to help families move from crisis to understanding and self-sufficiency.

Through our Off to a Good Start program, our Vision Impairment Specialists help nearly 500 children each year in 14 central and northern California counties at no cost to families.  BBF provides services to children under six years of age who have a visual impairment regardless of economic status, ethnicity, gender, country of origin or any other criteria.

Early Start Home Page
Families whose infants or toddlers have or are at risk for developmental delay or disability can receive an "Early Start" in the State of California. Teams of service coordinators, healthcare providers, early intervention specialists, therapists, and parent resource specialists can evaluate and assess an infant or toddler and provide appropriate early intervention services to children eligible for California's Early Intervention system of services.

Institute for Families
Provides consultation and therapy for families whose child is suffering from a devastating illness. Our goal is to meet families soon after they receive the diagnosis, either in person or over the telephone. We provide nationwide assistance and understand the importance of reaching out to families during this difficult time, wherever they might be. In addition to the counseling services, we provide books and videos to families and healthcare professionals as an additional resource to assist them during the difficult days after diagnosis.
Institute for Families is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All of our services are provided at no cost to families and professionals, with funding provided by private donations. No federal funding is given.

Education (other)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA is a federal civil rights law that addresses the educational needs of disabled children. It dictates how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities from birth to age 21. Congress intended that each child with a disability receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to prepare him or her for higher education, employment, and independent living. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also protects children covered by the IDEA.

Program Guidelines for Visually Impaired Students
The guidelines, revised in 1997, were developed cooperatively by teachers, parents and administrators to serve as a model for providing a quality, cost-effective education to visually impaired students that includes the requirements of state and federal laws.

Early Childhood Special Education Series:
Core concepts and preferred practices for successful, high-quality intervention services. This series consists of seven handbooks focusing on core concepts and preferred practices gathered from an in-depth review of current literature, statutes, and regulations.  The handbooks include: Handbook on Family Involvement, Handbook on Administration, Handbook on Transition and book on Assessment and Evaluation, Handbook on Developing Individualized Family Service Plans and Individualized Education Programs, Handbook on Developing and Implementing Programs and Services and Handbook on Developing and Evaluating Interagency Collaboration

These handbooks can be viewed/downloaded at

SELPAs-Special Education Local Planning Areas
All school districts and county school offices have formed consortiums in geographical regions to provide for all special education service needs of children residing within the region boundaries. Each region, Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), developed a local plan describing how it would provide special education services. SELPAs facilitate high quality educational programs and services for special needs students and training for parents and educators. The SELPA collaborates with county agencies and school districts to develop and maintain healthy and enriching environments in which special needs students and families can live and succeed.

For more information and a listing of all SELPAs in California, see the following website:

California Public School Directory
These links will help locate Public School Districts throughout California.


Family Connect
FamilyConnect is an online, multimedia community created by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI). This site gives parents of visually impaired children a place to support each other, share stories and concerns, and link to local resources. The site also features a mom-authored blog, inspiring video testimonials from families, and articles authored by parents and experts in the field of blindness on multiple disabilities, technology, education, and more. From the personal to the professional, families will find all the resources they need to raise their children from birth to adulthood.

Family Resource Centers
Family Resource Centers are part of the Early Start Program. Staffed by families of children with special needs, family resource centers offer parent-to-parent support and help parents, families, and children locate and use needed services. They offer support services and resources in many languages, which may include newsletters, resource libraries, websites, parent-to-parent groups, sibling support groups, warmlines, and information and referral for parents and professionals.
To find a local FRC:

National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI)
The National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) is a non-profit organization of, by and for parents committed to providing support to the parents of children who have visual impairments. It enables parents to find information and resources for their children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities.

California Associations for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (CAPVI)
Provides leadership, support, and training to assist parents in helping children reach their potential. CAPVI is the California arm of NAPVI. Our steering committee members are a dedicated group of parents who are willing and able to make this a viable, growing organization. There are many opportunities to get involved and volunteer.

CAPVI is dedicated to:
*Giving emotional support
*Initializing outreach programs
*Advocating for educational needs and welfare of children who are blind or visually impaired including those with additional disabilities.