Salient features and comparative language are critical strategies for children who have cortical visual impairment (CVI) (Thank you, Dr Roman-Lantzy). For my young son who has CVI, I always tell educators and new team members, These strategies – salient features and comparative language – are how my son learns to make sense of what he is looking at. These strategies are how he learns to make visual sense of the world. Figuring out salient features is harder than you think. The website, Text Project, Word Pictures can be a good place to start. Thanks to Judy Endicott for sharing this resource.
Figuring out what salient features are, which salient features to use, and naming the same salient features consistently with the student each time can be challenging. These are important considerations that need to figured out thoughtfully (Roman-Lantzy).
Animals are a great subject for teaching salient features. The Text Project does a good job of describing categories and classes of animals, all the way down to claws. The website relies mostly on large, clear photographic images of animals (skip the illustrations). The website does not suggest salient features for each animal, but it will get you thinking about salient features. It should also get you thinking about how we, as adults with neuro-typical vision, instantly make these classifications, in the blink of an eye.