ON, Thunder Bay, Specialist, Early Intervention

Do you want to work for a health care organization that changes people's lives? One that not only cares deeply about clients, but also values that its employees are its greatest asset?

Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada is a unique health services organization that serves people who are blind or partially sighted across the country. Our certified specialists provide training that empowers clients to develop or to restore activities of daily living skills, to promote their independence, to enhance safety and mobility. We work closely with ophthalmologists, optometrists and other health care professionals, by providing essential care on a referral basis in homes, workplaces and communities across the country.

We offer competitive salaries and benefits, flexible schedules, and opportunities to grow.

For more information about Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada, please visit visionlossrehab.ca or call 1-844-887-8572.

Position Title: Specialist, Early Intervention

Location: Thunder Bay, ON (serving Northwest Region ON)

Reports to: Provincial Director, Healthcare Operations

Date: Sept 24, 2021

Term:  1 year contract - Full Time – 35 hours per week

Salary: $24.73

I. Scope and Summary of Primary Responsibilities

In covering a broad range of duties responsibilities include; facilitates a child's transition into community and school programs, through client navigation. Responsibilities include assessment of need, coordinating the client journey to achieve care plan goals, and strengthening the communication and linkages between VLR staff and external community health care providers across the continuum of care. As well as completing initial interviews and ongoing assessments of children birth to school age with vision loss to identify rehabilitation goals and developing service plans to address goals with families.  This position also develops individual intervention and therapy programs in accordance with goals.  It also assists the child's family to access available resources to address their vision needs. 

This position provides functional expertise for the comprehensive multi-faceted service and operations program with a matrix reporting structure.

II. Essential Functions

This position entails but is not limited to the following general responsibilities:

  • Conducts initial and ongoing assessments for children of various age groups with vision loss.  Assists client and their family in developing habilitation goals.
  • Develops individual intervention/therapeutic programs to assist children with vision loss in developing motor, visual, cognitive, self care, social, literacy and sensory skills in accordance with vision habilitation goals
  • Evaluates clients' progress to revise service plans and implement programs that address client and family needs.
  • Assesses environmental conditions, accessibility and safety in settings that the child encounters (home, preschool, playgrounds, etc.)
  • Provides support and information to parents and caregivers on methods and techniques for helping to overcome barriers to inclusion.  Provides support and information to parents/caregiver to enhance advocacy skills.
  • Acts as a consultant/resource to the professional and service community regarding issues pertaining to children with vision loss including children with additional disabling conditions.
  • Provides interventions and supports to the child and family in the form of: direct interventions; resources and information; collaboration with other programs and service providers; presentation; and transition planning.
  • Completes required documentation including assessments, progress reports, statistics on service delivery, etc.
  • Keeps abreast of current materials, technology, standards of practice related to providing service to children with vision loss by review of professional literature, attending conferences/workshops and accessing other current sources of information.
  • Manage incoming referrals to facilitate vision rehabilitation therapy and ensure that clients have a named point of contact for healthcare coordination/navigation as early as possible before and/or after diagnosis.
  • Gather client information, conduct a review of eye assessments, and meet with clients (in person or over the telephone) to complete Vision Rehabilitation Assessment, identify goals and set level of priority. Flags urgent/critical client situations to Service Manager or other   designated staff.
  • Provides appropriate follow up with clients to help ensure service quality standards are met and completes an exit interview to wrap up service


  • Interacts with clients, their family and caregivers to develop and identify vision related goals and develop early intervention and therapy programs, and support families to follow through on recommendations.
  • Builds and maintains good working relationships with professionals in other agencies and community groups, particularly others on the child's therapy team.
  • Educates stakeholders about VLR and its's specialized programs offered to children and their families and the importance of early intervention.
  • Participates in multi-disciplinary team meetings
  • Advocates on client's behalf in medical clinics, schools, etc. when possible
  • Instructs and supervises volunteers, students and assistants to work with clients.

Problem Solving/Time Frame of Impact

  • Position utilizes problem solving abilities related to implementing and developing intervention and therapy programs for children with vision loss.
  • Problem solving involved in adapting programs, materials and equipment to address the needs of children with complex health conditions.
  • In case of critical incidents such as indications of child abuse or medical emergencies the Early Intervention Specialist must immediately report concerns and ensure children are receiving appropriate care.  Procedure varies by province.
  • You must be able to work with a child's family recognizing their complex needs including; cultural, religious, mental health needs and/or emotional support.
  • Delay in responding to referrals may result in a child not meeting their developmental potential and client/parent dissatisfaction.

Decision Autonomy

  • Decision making based on training and experience working with children with visual impairments, and individual assessment and reassessment, to develop and appropriate service plan.
  • Judgment is utilized for making decisions about method, schedule, and type of assessment and treatment and the manner in which parents are taught to follow through on recommendations.
  • this position is itinerant, requiring frequent visits to family homes.
  • Will use good judgment, professionalism, strong interpersonal skills and a collaborative style, High integrity, tact, a positive attitude
  • demonstrates commitment to equity diversity and inclusion


  • Provides leadership and guidance when training and supervising volunteers, parents, students and community.
  • Takes initiative to develop/implement the most appropriate intervention for the client and in maintaining current knowledge associated with children with vision loss.

III Qualifications

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

  • Knowledge of childhood normal and abnormal development including extensive understanding of childhood disabilities
  • Demonstrated understanding of vision loss in children is an asset
  • Experience working with children with additional impairments
  • Training related to specialized seating and positioning, feeding, adaptive technology and sensory integration is an asset
  • Excellent communications and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to build trusting relationships with children and families
  • Promotes awareness of cultural diversity and multiculturalism while helping to build bridges of understanding between individuals and community groups
  • Experience supervising volunteers and support personnel an asset
  • Ability to utilize computer and software programs
  • Excellent facilitation skills both in groups and individual situations'
  • good organization and time management skills

Experience and Education

  • Occupational therapy degree or undergraduate in Early Childhood Education with a pos-graduate in Resource Teaching (or recognized equivalency)
  • Knowledge of normal and abnormal early childhood development
  • 3 or more years experience working with children with vision loss as well as children with additional disabling conditions is an asset
  • A valid driver's license is required.
  • French language skills are an asset.

Work Environment

  • Willingness to work flexible hours
  • Willingness to work in a variety of settings (virtual, in client home, outdoors, day-care, etc.)
  • Travel may be required

Apply Now!

If this sounds like the role for you, apply now to lisa.tyrrell@vlrehab.ca.

Be sure to include a resume, cover letter, and mention how you heard about this opportunity

VLRC is committed to creating and fostering an inclusive culture and welcomes applications from diverse candidates, including but not limited to Indigenous peoples, women, candidates with disabilities, and candidates of colour. We strongly encourage applications from applicants with sight loss. Direct lived experience would be a definite asset. We're excited to review your application

Please note that the successful candidate will be required to pass a standard Criminal Record Check.

We thank all applicants for their interest in VLRC, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted

Closing Date for Applications: October 1, 2021