Parents and family members of children with cortical visual impairment, or a brain-based visual processing disorder, you are far from alone. According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, cortical visual impairment (CVI) is the most common cause of permanent vision loss in children.
Yet as common as CVI is, its educational implications are often grossly misunderstood.
Advocating for Appropriate Services
Your story may be like that of Bernadette Jackel who wrote the FamilyConnect article, “Parents of a Child with Cortical Visual Impairment Speaks Out.” Ms. Jackel and her family learned about her son’s diagnosis and fought diligently for her son’s appropriate education; it was only after a due process hearing that Ms. Jackel’s son received a free and appropriate education, as is federally mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
As Ms. Bernadette Jackel’s story exemplifies, it is imperative that parents learn the functional and educational implications of CVI. You will not only be learning strategies for your child to access the environment, tools, and information in the home, but you will also be equipped to ensure your child is receiving an appropriate education in the public-school system. Without a doubt, you are your child’s strongest advocate.
Resources on CVI
Below you will find resources to learn about CVI and its functional and educational implications:
- Statement on Cortical Visual Impairment by Christine Roman, Linda Baker-Nobles, Gordon N. Dutton, Tracy Evans Luiselli, Betsy S. Flener, James Emery Jan, Alan Lantzy, Carey Matsuba, D. Luisa Mayer, Sandra Newcomb, and Anne S. Nielsen
- Cortical Visual Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Neurological Vision Loss by the American Foundation for the Blind
- Cortical Visual Impairment Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet by Blind Babies Foundation as provided by the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Little Bear Sees, a foundation which provides families with information, products, and tools for their children with CVI
Publications on CVI
- Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention by Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy
- Vision and the Brain: Understanding Cerebral Visual Impairment in Children, edited by Amanda Hall Lueck and Gordon N. Dutton
- CVI Focus Series: Assessment, Intervention, and Literacy for Individuals with Cortical Visual Impairment (eLearning) by Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy
Lastly, please join the FamilyConnect community and connect with other families who have children with CVI.