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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Blind Babies Program Not Effectively Implemented; Continued Funding by State Cannot Be Justified, Report No. 01-42, September 2001
Full report in PDF format

The Division of Blind Services piloted the Blind Babies Program between 1996-97 and 1999-2000. In 2000, the Legislature implemented the program statewide. 1/ The program provides community-based, early-intervention education to visually impaired or blind children from birth through five years of age and to their parents, families, and caregivers. Our examination found that the division
  • had not developed an adequate accountability system;
  • did not effectively use the pilot project for program development; and
  • failed to achieve statewide implementation. 
Because of these failures, we cannot recommend that the Legislature continue funding the program. We are unable to assure the Legislature that the program is not duplicating existing programs, is having the desired impacts, or is cost-effective. If funding were discontinued, 185 children and 364 family members would no longer receive the program’s services, but the effectiveness of these services is not conclusive.

However, if the Legislature wishes to continue funding the program, we recommend that the division improve client identification as well as referral and coordination of services with other early intervention programs, increase program utilization, ensure cost-effective distribution of program funds, and establish a valid accountability system by the end of Fiscal Year 2001-02.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Blind Services
Children's Medical Services (CMS)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 05-39 OPPAGA Report: Disabilities Groups Should Improve Coordination, But Duplication of Activities Appears to Be Low, published in July 2005.
  • Report No. 03-50 Progress Report: Blind Babies Program Improves Several Primary Functions, But Monitoring Is Still Weak, published in September 2003.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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