CVI critical mass and advocacy

CVI critical mass and advocacy
CVI critical mass and advocacy

My son is visually impaired. Learning to say those words was hard. These days I am more likely to say, My son has a cortical visual impairment (CVI). CVI is a brain based visual impairment that interferes with the ability to make sense of what you are looking at. Visually impaired is an inadequate description of my son’s vision. In seven years I have learned that most of the time, when we say blind or visually impaired, we are not talking about my son who has CVI, or about children who have CVI. When we say visually impaired, we are talking about someone with an ocular impairment, which has to do with the structure of the eye. Most everything that goes along with serving a student with an ocular impairment – accommodations, Braille, early learning, education, the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), orientation and mobility (O&M), schools for the blind, teachers of the visually impaired (TVI), university vision teacher preparation programs – has almost nothing to do with a child who has CVI. Continue reading “CVI critical mass and advocacy”

Training in CVI should not be optional

From Cortical Visual Impairment, An Approach to Assessment and Intervention, by Christine Roman-Lantzy.

A while ago, the Chicago Tribune published an article, Programs for visually impaired students face teacher shortage, describing the nation wide shortage of vision teachers to serve students who are blind or visually impaired. Any parent of a child who is visually impaired can attest to the shortage of teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs), and orientation and mobility specialists (O&Ms). But the author missed the bigger story. As any parent of a child with cortical visual impairment (CVI) can tell you, it is almost impossible to find a TVI who is proficient in CVI. Our children with CVI, who often comprise half or more of a TVI’s caseload, are overlooked and poorly served. Continue reading “Training in CVI should not be optional”

Access makes a world of difference

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

Thinking about visual access in terms of the arts can feel overwhelming. How can a child who has cortical visual impairment (CVI) possibly have access to and enjoyment of, an arts experience? On a recent outing to our local children’s theatre, it hit home how visual access makes a world difference for a child who has CVI. Continue reading “Access makes a world of difference”

‘This Type of Blindness Technically Isn’t an Eye Problem’, parent article on CVI

If you have not already seen it, ‘This Type of Blindness Technically Isn’t an Eye Problem’ is a wonderful article on cortical visual impairment (CVI). And it is written by a parent, Amy Whipple. It includes a good explanation of CVI, and a summary of Christine Roman-Lantzy and her life’s work on CVI. Most of us do not know where our children would be without her dedication and study of our child’s disability. Continue reading “‘This Type of Blindness Technically Isn’t an Eye Problem’, parent article on CVI”

Phase III CVI Workshop: Salient features and the red pom pom

Phase III CVI Workshop, Boston

If not for CVI conferencees, trainings and assessments, this CVI mom would never go anywhere. My son has been in Phase III CVI (Roman-Lantzy) for more than a year. Now the goal is to learn as much as possible about Phase III, what that means, and how best to support him, especially as a student with CVI in the general education setting. Watching my son progress along the CVI Range has been everything from exhilirating to gruelling. Being in Phase III is sort of like slowing down as you near the end of the road. But knowing you will never quite reach the end. And so last spring I attended a two day workshop on Phase III CVI at Perkins School for the Blind, taught by Christine Roman-Lantzy. Continue reading “Phase III CVI Workshop: Salient features and the red pom pom”