Regional CVI Clinic: Coming to Your Neighborhood?

Authors: Sara Kitchen, TSBVI Educational Specialist and Ann Rash, TSBVI Early Childhood Specialist

Keywords: cortical/cerebral visual impairment (CVI), blind, visually impaired, visual functioning, CVI Clinic, TSBVI, Educational Service Centers (ESC)

Abstract: The authors describe a demonstration assessment clinic event for young children with cortical visual impairment.

This clinic can also happen in your ESC regional area! We plan to continue with additional CVI Assessment clinics in regions throughout Texas. If you are a vision teacher, parent, or agency serving young children with visual impairment and are interested in this coming to your area, please talk to your local regional ESC VI consultant.

Teachers shared the following comments: “Excellent clinic, lots of useful information, could strongly relate to my caseload. Would like an extension clinic of a “‘make and take’ for materials to be used,” and, “We are learning each time we do this process. Thank you for making this happen for Region 11 TVIs and their young students with CVI!”

The CVI Clinic was an intensive process for vision teachers, requiring a time commitment throughout the entire 2015-2016 school year. The process was divided into small, manageable steps. 19 Hours of continuing education credits were given.  For the first step, vision teachers were asked to complete a parent interview. The parent interview conversation is integral in gathering information, as parents have a wealth of knowledge on their own child and how their vision has changed over time. This conversation functions to build awareness of CVI characteristics for the parent and the TVI, giving them the base knowledge of CVI necessary to be able to apply information from the CVI clinic report. One parent shared, “I would most definitely recommend parents and students participating in the program [clinic]. For me, I always appreciate any time that I can be in a room full of individuals that know or want to better understand CVI. Even after almost 2 years, it can be an overwhelming diagnosis, so I love to get ideas and feedback.”

The second step for vision teachers was to gather observation videos. These videos were submitted to help facilitators become familiar with the children’s CVI characteristics that were evident within everyday activities, environments and with familiar objects.

Photo of a baby looking at brightly colored toys.The first two steps were paired with hour-long conversations, via webinar, between facilitators and TVIs to discuss and explore the details. Facilitators and TVIs then used approximately three hours to compile information from parent interviews and observation videos to complete those sections of Roman-Lantzy’s CVI Range, Rating 1. This process helped to plan the direct assessment, which took place in person the day of the CVI Clinic.

Student assessments were scheduled in two-hour increments with short breaks between evaluation sessions on the day of the CVI Clinic. The parents brought their children and the child’s familiar toys and snacks for their two-hour slot. The TVIs stayed all day to observe all students participating in the clinic. TVIs came for a half day the second day and worked on student specific reports with assistance from facilitators. Additional teachers of the visually impaired were given the opportunity to register as observers of any number of assessments on the day of the clinic, even though they did not have a student who was being assessed at that time, and were given continuing education credit accordingly.

Teachers and parents have reported a month later that they are using and/or planning to purchase items discussed in CVI reports that were written by the TVIs.  Students are responding more consistently to visual stimuli and parents and teachers are putting into place recommended materials and interventions. From the ESC VI Specialist, Stephanie Walker: ” The CVI Clinic was wonderful!! Thank you for coming to ESC region 11. Thanks to all the teachers that participated.”

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