children's books, creativity, CVI, CVI Literacy, Diane Sheline, diversity, Dr. Christine Roman Lantzy, equal access, learning, Paths to Literacy, picture books, tactile elements, teaching

CVI Literacy Awareness Month

CVI, or cortical visual impairment, is a brain-based visual impairment that is caused due to damage within the brain or the visual pathways.

Literacy is widely defined as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.” (UNESCO 2004)http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001362/13

Dr. Christine Roman Lantzy, a leader in the field of CVI assessment and education, has stated that “Literacy begins when they look.” When a child with CVI can visually fixate on a target and interpret it, the child is working to build a visual memory of the target that they can later refer to when the target is presented in different contexts.

As a teacher for the visually impaired and a children’s writer, I love the challenge of creating a meaningful book for a student whether their visual impairment is ocular or brain-based. It is incredibly gratifying to create something that opens the door to literacy for a student.

This link shares creative examples of books created for students with CVI by Diane Sheline, a TVI (teacher for the visually impaired) and a CLVT (certified low vision therapist). https://www.pathstoliteracy.org/adapting-books-and-literacy-students-cvi

There are a few commercially available books that, with adaptation, can be useful for students with CVI, but there could easily be more.

Something I’d like to see is the publishing world getting pro-actively involved in fostering greater equality of access for children with diverse literacy needs.

Below is a YouTube video on one teacher’s effort in modifying a book for a student with CVI.

And this link will take you to an article that talks more about adapting books for children in each of the three phases of CVI. //www.pathstoliteracy.org/blog/adapting-books-children-cvi-all-3-phases.

1 thought on “CVI Literacy Awareness Month”

  1. I totally agree with you. My partner recently lost her sight and audio books and audio description on tv has helped enormously, the audio books especially. Thank you for working with children with sight issues. Your work is invaluable. 🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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