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with Diane Sheline, Independent Consultant, CTVI, CLVT. www.strategytosee.com

Diane: Imagine you're working with a 5-year-old who has CVI secondary to hydrocephalous.  This little girl is in a regular kindergarten classroom setting with support.  The CVI characteristics she still has difficulty with are: visual field preferences, difficulty with visual complexity and difficulties with distance viewing.  She is still attracted to light but can be redirected to other visual targets.  She is functioning in Phase 3.  The classroom teacher is working with her on matching plastic block letters to the print equivalent.  Here is a short clip showing her classroom setting.

[Video clip]

This student faces several visual challenges in her classroom setting.  She is seated near the door, which allows light to shine on work surfaces.  While she is no longer distracted by light, she is bothered with glare, which reflects off her table.  Her table and tote tray are both blue, the same as the letter she is supposed to be working with.   There is limited color contrast.  The letters do not stand out, and the tagboard with printed letters blends in with the table.  The work space is cluttered and it is difficult for this student to locate even the first letter she is supposed to match.  Her assignment is made more difficult since she has a lower visual field impairment and all of the letters are flat on the surface of the table.

This student might benefit from eliminating the complexity in the array, thus allowing her to focus on the target of interest.  Only two to four targets are presented at a time, and there is good spacing between targets.  Supplementary lighting has been provided which shines on the task, not in the student's face.  This generally encourages focused visual attention to the task or the target.  Due to this student's lower visual field impairment, an All-in-One board is used at an angle, which brings the task up into her usable visual field.  Using red letters against the black Velcro compatible material creates good color contrast.  The Invisiboard behind the All-in-One board blocks off  distracting movements of other students, as well as visual clutter from bulletin boards, desks and other materials in the classroom setting.  The black mat on the table surface also helps to create contrast.