The Children’s Learning Center
The Children’s Learning Center, located in downtown Brooklyn, offers a range of services to young children who are blind and visually impaired with and without additional disabilities. These programs include:
- Home-based early intervention service for infants and toddlers 0 to 3 years of age
- Center-based early intervention services for infants and toddlers 0 to 3 years of age
- A full-day Preschool program for children ages 3 to 5
- Teacher of the visually impaired as a related service for preschoolers in integrated settings
- Therapeutic services for school-age children through the New York City Department of Education Related Services Authorization (RSA)
- The Parent & Early Education Resource Center
- Educational and therapeutic programs
Early Intervention & Preschool
In our Early Intervention and Preschool programs, students who have visual impairments, or visual impairments with additional disabilities, receive therapeutic services in a supportive and individualized learning environment. Early Intervention services are provided at either the child’s home or in our center. These services include both therapeutic services as well as a half-day class program. Preschool classes have 7 to 8 children with a teacher and two assistants; all therapeutic services are provided one-to-one. Intervention is guided by the belief that all children, regardless of their degree of disability, can learn to be self-determined and can be taught to effect change in their environment through physical action and communication. The therapeutic, instructional, and administrative staff is highly trained, most with advanced degrees. The Center has also started to offer vision as a related service for children who attend integrated preschool settings, and therapeutic (occupation, physical, and speech therapies) as well as services of a Teacher of the Visually Impaired through RSA for school-age children.
The Early Intervention & Preschool services include:
- Occupation, physical, and speech therapies for Preschool and Early Intervention
- Half-day class for Early Intervention
- Full-day class for Preschool
- Vision services for Early Intervention
- Vision services for Preschoolers in integrated settings
- Occupational, physical, and speech therapy through NYCDOE RSA for school age
- Music instruction for children attending class-based programs
- Pet therapy for children attending class-based programs
The Early Intervention Program is funded and regulated by the New York State Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Preschool program is funded and regulated by the New York State Education Department and the New York City Department of Education. All services are provided to families at no cost. If you would like to refer a child to early intervention in New York City you can do so by calling 311.
The Parent & Early Education Resource Center
The Parent & Early Education Resource Center, which is open to New York City parents of children with vision impairments and other disabilities, offers support in a variety of ways. The Center offers a series of monthly training workshops based on children’s and family needs. Topics can include child development, strategies for parenting children with disabilities, and information sessions about programs and support available for children with special needs.
The Center also provides parents with resources and advocacy training; on-going support groups offer peer support for families of young children with visual impairments and other disabilities.