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Visual aids

Through the Visual Devices Program, you can access visual devices and receive an amount to take care of a guide dog if you qualify for one. The visual devices lent compensate for a partial or total loss of vision and help you carry out your daily activities.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for the program, you must be insured by the Health Insurance Plan. You must also have a permanent visual impairment that prevents you from carrying out one of the following activities:

  • Read or write
  • Move around in an unfamiliar environment
  • Carry out activities in keeping with your lifestyle or social roles (student, worker or parent, for example)

Eligibility criteria

An assessment of your visual impairment determines whether you meet the program eligibility criteria. This assessment must demonstrate that you have functional needs stemming from your impairment. It takes place after vision correction by prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses, except if your vision has increased by more than 4 dioptres or improved by a special optical system.

Procedure for obtaining a visual device

  1. Submit an application for a visual device to an accredited facilities specializing in the rehabilitation of persons with a visual impairment.
  2. Have your visual impairment and needs assessed by this facility.
  3. Present your valid Health Insurance Card (the cost of the assessment is covered and therefore free).

If you qualify, the facility will lend you the required visual devices and show you how to use them correctly. If you qualify, the facility will lend you the required visual devices and show you how to use them correctly.

Services covered by the program

The program covers the loan, replacement and repair of visual devices. You must return any unused device to the lending facility. To find out more on your obligations, refer to the guide What you need to know about the visual aids loaned to you.

Lost, stolen or damaged devices and devices used negligently

Coverage excludes the cost of repairing or replacing lost, stolen or damaged devices or devices used negligently. You will have to pay the cost or, if applicable, check your personal insurance coverage (home insurance or other).

Examples of devices lent

  • Reading aids, such as closed-circuit television systems, optical systems and calculators
  • Writing aids, such as braillers
  • Mobility aids, such as white canes, electronic obstacle detectors, night vision goggles

Amounts for a guide dog

You are entitled to an amount of $265 to obtain a guide dog. Thereafter, you will receive an annual amount of $2,240 to take care of the dog.

Examples of devices for students and workers

Students and workers may obtain visual devices to carry out their tasks:

  • Computer-compatible closed-circuit television system
  • Computer
  • Braille display and printer
  • Satellite geopositioning system

To qualify for the program as a student or worker, you must fulfil one of the following conditions:

Application for review

You can apply for a review of a RAMQ decision. To find out more, refer to the page Request a review of a decision.

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