Birth to Three

Contact Info

DeEtte Snyder, State Coordinator for Birth to 3 services, Blind and Visually Impaired

360-947-3305 (Voicemail available) Fax: 360-737-2120 E-Mail:

The Washington State School for the Blind’s Birth to 3 Program is committed to providing specialized services for infants and children who are diagnosed with visual impairments or blindness, no matter where they live in the state. It is well documented in research of learning, that almost 80-90% of what a child learns in the first 3 years of life occurs through the use of vision through incidental learning.  When a child does not have vision, they will still learn to play with toys, crawl and walk through their environments, explore the world, and build meaningful relationships with their families, however they may do this in a different way through the use of other senses.  Because vision plays such a critical role in how a child learns and the loss may impact all developmental areas, it is critical that early identification and appropriate interventions supports begin immediately to support children, and families, to reach their full early learning potential!

Who should be referred to WSSB for vision support and services? Any child between the ages of birth to 3 years of age who has a diagnosis of a vision condition documented by a pediatric ophthalmologist that has a high probability to lead to a visual impairment. If there is a concern raised by the family or team regarding the ability of the child to use vision as expected, the team should complete the “3 Pronged Vision Screen” to establish a plan of action to address with pediatrician, pediatric ophthalmologist, and/or early intervention team. DeEtte can be contacted for initial vision consultation visits, training opportunities or technical assistance.

Who can refer a child to WSSB for vision support and services? Anyone! To refer a child with a diagnosis of BVI or just a concern, contact DeEtte Snyder, State Coordinator for Birth to 3 Services, Blind and Visually Impaired (360)947-3305 or (360)696-6321 x172 OR Email DeEtte at


For parents of children aged birth to 5 with blindness or low vision


The Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) is hosting a virtual parent resource night every month in 2021.  Our goal is to provide information of resources and information related to young children with blindness and low vision to enhance parenting experiences. Also, we hope that parents/caregivers connect with each other!

  • Tuesday, April 13th Let’s Get Moving: Orientation and Mobility

Guest Speaker: Kartar Khalsa, veteran O&M specialist for babies, toddlers, preschoolers…oh, and older kiddos too. We will explore early orientation and motor movement with strategies to get your child moving through their world for active and safe exploration.  Also, resources for O&M will be shared including the standard white cane and pre-cane devices for all ability levels.

  • Tuesday May 11th  Parent advocacy with Washington PAVE

Come learn about effective advocacy from the Washington Partnership in Action, Voices for Empowerment (WaPAVE) and one of their Parent Resource Coordinator at their Parent Training Information Center, Jerri Clark.

  • Tuesday June 8th Summer Sensory Fun

Summers are the perfect time for tactile and messy play.  This session will focus on early childhood tactile development and fun ways families can encourage learning through sensory play with the hands…and feet too. Let’s get messy and learn at the same time!

Meeting are recorded (then edited to take out personal information about children and families) and can be seen on WSSB’s You Tube Channel in the Talk O Tuesday playlist:  WAStSchBlnd

Please register in receive the secure Zoom link via email, which will be sent 1 week prior to meeting.

Registration Link:  Talk O Tuesday

Questions: Contact DeEtte Snyder at (360)947-3305 or

  • Evaluation and ongoing services from certified teacher of the visually impaired (TVI), or Early Intervention Vision Specialist.
  • Evaluation and ongoing services from a certified orientation and mobility specialist.
  • Professional development opportunities (group and individual) for early intervention teams regarding issues regarding visual impairments, including blindness, and the unique learning style of children with limited use of vision.
  • Emotional and informational resources to families, such as weekend learning workshops and opportunities to connect with other families.
  • Online Request for Consult

“PIP Fridays”

For families and their infants/toddlers/preschoolers who are blind or visually impaired

Save the Dates!

Come meet and connect to other parents just like you!!!

Where: Washington State School for the Blind, 2301 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA

When: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. on the Fridays during the School Year.

We usually have several outings and guests scheduled each year. When we meet at the school for the blind, we will be in the school library. You can park in the lot in front of the gym and enter the side door to the school. We will have music circle, activities to explore learning without vision, and ways to incorporate them into your family routine.

RSVP or questions contact either:
Cindy McAlexander  Phone: 360-907-2445
DeEtte Snyder  Phone: 360-947-3305