Fall is here and schools are opening their doors to students. The fall is an exciting, fresh beginning that I look forward to each year! It is an especially busy for TVIs as we assess children, educate staff, adapt materials and environments and support parents, students and teams.
Here is a fall checklist for CVI for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments:
- Complete CVI Assessment
All TVIs should become competent in the assessment of all the visual behaviors of CVI. There are just too many people not using brain based criteria for their assessment of children with CVI. If the brain based areas are not assessed correctly, the results will not provide the child with the correct goals and objectives or the correct adaptations, accommodations and methodologies needed for their optimal visual functioning. This misalignment will limit the child’s visual improvements.
- Share CVI assessment results with parents. Parents will benefit from a discussion about the overall concepts of CVI so they fully understand their child’s visual skills and needs after the assessment. With this fuller understanding about CVI, they can more effectively understand their child’s visual skills. With this background knowledge, the accommodations, modifications and environmental supports make sense. Parents need this background information to advocate for their child across a lifetime, every year as staff and schools change.
- Conduct and inservice to the educational team about the overall topic of CVI. With a firm understanding of the CVI concepts, teams can better understand their students visual functioning and their unique educational needs. The accommodations, modifications and environmental supports have more context and will be more consistently used if fully understood.
- Conduct a second inservice to the team about how CVI effects each individual student. Each child with CVI will have unique educational needs based on their own individual assessment results.
- When classroom schedules are completed, look across the learning day to ensure the CVI adaptations are in place at all times.
(Example: In morning meeting the child is at the correct distance from the learning materials , has visual access to the better visual field, has an identified “wait time” for visually processing, has materials in the most accessible bright color and that color is considered to be a way the child discriminated and recognizes, has the light controlled and used optimally, has the motion distractions removed or movement used to draw visual attention, and has the complexity of the environment matched to the assessed needs.
- Create a “cheat sheet” to hang in learning areas so staff can quickly refer to the recommendations for best visual field, best distance, best best color, and other CVI recommendations around assessed needs.
- Check that the classroom has areas for learning that are adapted to assessed CVI needs. If the child requires a non-complex, quiet separate learning area to preview materials or to learn skills this needs to be an identified and provided area for learning.