Text Project, a tool for getting started with salient features

The Text Project, Animals of All Shapes and Sizes
The Text Project, Animals of All Shapes and Sizes

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. Continue reading “Text Project, a tool for getting started with salient features”

“Does the mailman know Santa?”

Does the mailman know Santa?
“Does the mailman know Santa?”

As parents, and especially as parents of children who have cortical visual impairment (CVI), we worry about many things. One of the things we worry about most is knowing that our child’s unique educational needs are not being met and supported. In those first years, that critical period of neurodevelopment, parents work hard to get a CVI diagnosis, a CVI Range assessment (Roman-Lantzy), and improve their child’s use of functional vision. We become fluent in the language of CVI. We color highlight, strictly adhere to complexity of array, and speak in salient features. Only to hand our child off when it comes time for transition to public school, and our well honed educational approaches fall by the wayside. Worksheets are highlighted in anything but preferred color yellow. Reading materials are simply enlarged instead of modified. The silhouettes of abstract black and white line drawings are quickly highlighted in whatever color marker was handy. We spend our time arguing with school district administrators about the need to include salient features and comparative language in the IEP (Roman). And the critical question to my son’s learning, What do you see? goes unasked, day after day, for the entire school calendar. Continue reading ““Does the mailman know Santa?””

CVI salient features books

CVI salient features books
CVI salient features books

When my son who has cortical visual impairment (CVI) was in preschool, it was important that he had visually accessible books. Most of the books in his classroom were filled with bright, multicolored, visually complex illustrations (complexity, Roman). Bright Baby makes a series of books that uses realistic photographic images and plain, solid color backgrounds. The books are inexpensive, easy to modify, and are one of the few items that CVI parents do not have to make themselves from scratch. Continue reading “CVI salient features books”

What to include in an IEP for a student who has CVI

What to include in an IEP for a student who has CVI
What to include in an IEP for a student who has CVI
With the help of TVI Matt Tietjen*, we have compiled a list of considerations when writing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student who has cortical visual impairment (CVI). IEPs look different from state to state, but contain the same information. If you are a parent or a provider who works with a child with CVI, no matter where you live, here are some ideas to think about. It should be noted that our source for all discussion of CVI, the phases, the ten characteristics, accommodations and modifications is Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention (2007, AFB Press) by Christine Roman-Lantzy. Continue reading “What to include in an IEP for a student who has CVI”