The only way to get comfortable using the CVI Range is to get more training in its exact use. This can’t happen in one lecture or one conference workshop. Many people attend one lecture, get a copy of the CVI Range and complete it incorrectly. If the assessment is done incorrectly, you have no firm idea of the child’s functional vision. You will struggle to create strategies, environmental supports or goals and objectives without this defined functional vision.
The Roman-Lantzy book Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention provides an in depth exploration of the entire topic of CVI including how to use the CVI Range. The text should be considered the CVI Range operating manual.
Taking a class in CVI would also be helpful to build assessment skills. Completing the Range in a group of professionals, all of whom understand the CVI Range and CVI, was so valuable for my CVI assessment competence. Practice, practice, practice!
Professionals are, many times, unaware of the importance of the parent interview, the observation and the direct assessment as three distinct but interwoven parts of the full CVI Range assessment. Each information-gathering component is essential to a good functional vision CVI evaluation. The parent interview gives us important history of visual skills over time and medical background. It also describes functioning outside the school, at different times of day and across contexts. It frames observations and focuses those observations. The observation can give me a vast amount of information. The observations allow me to understand what materials I need for my direct assessment. There is no one assessment kit for CVI. You make observations and bring the tools you need to answer or confirm skills. The direct assessment answers those final questions about functioning in each characteristic.
Working in schools, it can be difficult to get every parent interview but I do try very hard. I have to be willing to make the phone call after my workday or on the weekend so it is convenient for the parent. As a matter of course, I conduct a teacher interview as well. It establishes a collaborative atmosphere around the assessment and begins to help the teacher understand what I am looking for (the characteristics).
The most challenging part of the CVI Range for me was completing Rating II. Without a scoring guide to remind me of the definition for each score 0, .25, .5, .75 or 1, I never felt completely confident in my scoring. With explanations, I do understanding it better but I look forward to a scoring guide for Rating II in Dr. Roman’s upcoming book.