One of my student was having trouble hitting the Paddle Drum with any accuracy. My husband created a red lighted dot in the middle of the paddle with a bright LED light. It worked wonders! The lighted area drew visual attention to the middle of the drum surface and the student could more accurately find and hit the right area. Success was immediate!
My husband placed a metal crosspiece across the back of the drum on the outside ring support and placed the LED onto that with a battery pack. It has an on and off switch for ease. Having the structure off the drum surface did not interfere with the created sound. The lighted drum picture example did not transfer so well. In real life, it is a very bright red dot not the white dot in the picture here.
Here is the ordering information from Amazon
Literacy is so important for every child. I love making Powerpoint books for my students with CVI. You can make these for the class as a whole based on a thematic unit or make individual books tailored to each child’s visual needs and preferences.
Using Powerpoint books allows me to use strategies matched to the child’s assessed visual needs for visual attention and visual recognition
Color: I use the bright, solid colored targets for attention and recognition.
Motion: I can insert slight movement as needed using an inserted film clip. I also like to insert films to build cognitive understanding. If the child will look at a plastic toy fish, I do not want they to believe that “fish” are hard plastic, non-moving things. I want to build understanding of how they move, where they live and to have the child understand that fish come in different colors and shapes. I can insert a film clip of fish in a fish tank. I can talk about how fish are alive, breathe, have different colors, swim in water and how they move. Children with typical vision have this information without direct teaching. I want my students to have the same access.
Processing time: The images on the pages can stay present for as long as a child needs.
Visual Fields: The device using the Powerpoint can be placed in the best visual field. This is often at eye level.
Complexity: Powerpoint books allow me to choose a non-complex target and non-complex backgrounds for each slide page. If I take my own photographs or grab images from Google, I can Edit and erase all complexity before I insert the picture. If I take film, I can make sure that film is non-complex.
Light: Because the Powerpoint is created on a computer or backlighted device, the child’s need for light is satisfied. If there is light sensitivity, I can turn the light down lower.
Distance Viewing: The device playing the Powerpoint can be placed at the child’s assessed best visual distance. It can bring items for learning into the near space.
Visual Recognition: Children will look at familiar items better than non-familiar ones. Using pictures of familiar items and creating books about familiar topics, events or predictable sequences are much more likely to draw a child’s visual attention and interest. Remember that all children like predictable books!
Visual Motor: Visual attention is important for literacy but the ultimate goal is always independence to control the book and choice of books. With the ability to turn to the next page or to indicate a desire for a different book is often visual motor task. To encourage visual motor, there must be an access method that is matched to the child’s assessed visual skills to find and reach.
Here is a Youtube explanation of how to make the Powerpoint book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYQCwowU8sk
As we think about gifts for our children with CVI, we want to pick toys and materials for fun and learning. First and foremost, children with CVI are children. All children benefit from play as the basis of their learning. It is essential that our children have those opportunities carefully created and frequently available. Think about a child with typical vision. They have access all the time. Wouldn’t it be great to have teams look across the child’s day and make sure our children with CVI have visual and play access all the time?
These play opportunities need to be matched to children’s assessment results.
• A toy that includes single bright color. The multicolored nature of the toy surface can confuse the child. Single colors “hold” objects together visually and are easier to recognize.
• Lighted toys for those that love light
• Musical toys. We all love those!
Movement that is predictable, not too frantic
For the play environment:
• We want fewer toys to look at matched to their assessed tolerance.
• We want non-complex backgrounds so the toy really stands out.
• We want the toy to be in the child’s best visual field at eye level.
• We want toys close matched to their visual abilities for distance.
• We want an activation method for the toy. This might be a switch that the child can accidentally hit, learn and then purposefully hit. It might be a toy that makes a visual change or a toy that makes a noise when it is hit. There might not be reaching much yet but we need to present the opportunity to activate to build that reaching. Far too many toys for children with CVI rely on passive looking and no expanded access ability for the improving vision and visual motor skills.
• We want toys within the child’s arms’ length and arm movement abilities. If the child has limited arm movement, we must place the activation method near the hand/arm and have another part of the toy within their visual field (“I move my arm and I see this visual event”).
From my last blog entry, I mentioned that I highlighted the ends of a bow to help a student have visual access to where to grab to untie the bow.
I got a comment to that blog that I think would be great illustration of a misconception. Much thanks for the comment that allows me to clarify!
Here is the comment:
“Great idea to put a string on a book to be opened each time! Why not use a shoe string with plastic ends? You can get them in the buck store –like 6 pairs for $1.”
So why didn’t I use colored shoe strings for this? First of all, what is my goal? My goal is for the child to have a visual anchor to the bow ends, not the bow itself. If I used shoe strings that are colored, the child still will not know where to grab. With the whole bow highlighted, reaching to the whole bow completely defeats the purpose: grabbing the end. I always think about what exactly I want the child to do. Where exactly to I want to draw visual attention? Where exactly do I want the child to reach to for function? I keep these questions in my mind every time I think about visual supports for students with visual impairments.