A very creative staff member in the Perkins School for the Blind Secondary Program understands her student’s CVI functional vision. She also knows that the complexity of the shopping experience needs modifications for that functional vision. Without this strategy to reduce complexity, this student would be constant lightgazing to overhead light to avoid this complex visual scene. That would certainly limit his access to learning. She created this portable simplified background. Here is a picture of that student with increased access at the store in a weekly community experience.
In consideration of CVI functional vision, the food package is slowly introduced the student’s best right visual field, at his eye level, with limited verbal prompting and lots of visual response time. It was successful! The student responded by looking, reached up to touch the items and directing them into the bin area at the bottom of the cart.
What a fantastic strategy for this student!
Can you find the toothbrush in this picture?
Find the toothbrush?
Of course you can! You have a firm idea of what a toothbrush looks like. You understand your toothbrush and all other toothbrushes. You have visual “toothbrushness”. You have vast experience finding your toothbrush on the bathroom counter.
You did not look on the floor or wall for it because you predicted where it would be found.
How many people missed the huge navy blue handle toothbrush laying right below the mirror?? You did! You missed it because it was not in a predictable place and it did not match the size of toothbrushes that you were looking for.
We all see based on visual prediction. This is why creating strong visual recognition and using predictable routines for our students with CVI is so vital. CVI is about visual recognition. The more predictable routines are, the more the child with CVI can visually predict and recognize the repeated objects and have the best chance of building understanding within more novel and more multisensory contexts.
Here is the article “Why We Miss Objects Right in Front of Us”.