It’s CVI Awareness Month and a great time to share all about vision in our little AAC community! In an earlier post, I shared a brief overview of what CVI is and invited you all to explore some awesome resources to continue your learning as AAC partners. In this post, I wanted to dive a bit deeper for the AAC professionals in the room and offer the scoop on three awesome CVI resources that will certainly round out your AAC assessment and intervention toolbox!
See a top notch resource I missed? Please share in the comments! We love to curate over here at AACcessible!
One of the biggest questions facing many AAC professionals and partners who are supporting children with CVI is whether the child is able to identify two-dimensional images, such as photos, colored drawers, and black and white drawings. Although AAC practitioners have long been encouraged to abandon the notion of a “symbol hierarchy” for complex communicators without vision impairment, in the case of CVI, we must keep brain-based vision development research in mind. This research does support a symbol hierarchy that points to certain representations as easier for children with CVI to interpret early on in their development, compared to other forms. This free training (if you don’t want CEU’s) and accompanying handout explore strategies for screening a student’s ability to identify two-dimension images or different types.
So you’ve addressed the question of two-dimensional images or not but you still have all of these other visual needs to consider as you strive to find the best AAC fit for your students. Enter the AAC and CVI Matrix. This free training (if you don’t want CEU’s) and accompanying handout (linked separately here) offer a framework for matching the best AAC features to your student’s needs based on their unique CVI profile. The AAC and CVI Matrix provides AAC assessment professionals with the perspective they need to “Determine a course of action for selecting and adapting an accessible communication system for students with CVI”.
If you’re like me, you aren’t a vision expert and you rely heavily on your vision colleagues to help you support your most complex students and clients. Having a simple set of tools to help you look at your student’s needs with a vision lens can be incredibly helpful on your learning journey. This free toolkit was designed by Teach CVI as a first step in helping you decide when to refer children with a suspicion of CVI to specialized, vision professionals for further assessment.
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The Stacks on AACcessible
Did you know that we curate CVI related resources all year long and share them on the curation section of our AACcessible site – the Stacks? Stay connected to resources form across the AAC, AT, and accessibility communities by visiting the Stacks frequently!
AACcessible Free & Low Cost Tools
We also offer some great digital downloads related to vision and AAC on our Tools page! Get handouts, infographics, and more, free or at very low cost. Everything you download from our store is a donation to the AACcessible mission. Learn more here.