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Image: Learning

Connor

Learning (in a classroom) ConnorLearning (in a classroom) Connor

Connor (CVI Classification 1), as described by his mother:

Connor would never be able to focus in this style of classroom, even though it seems relatively clear of clutter, just the people in front of him would mean that he would quickly become confused. Connor goes to a special school, and his desk is against a plain wall, so that when he is attending to any task, his visual attention is not pulled away, because he does not have conscious control over it. If a teacher was wearing a bright necklace, he is likely to be visually drawn away from his activity to look at the necklace. For this reason the staff working with Connor also wear plain, normally black clothes.

In this picture I think Connor would be drawn to the blue sleeve. The arm moving up would create the pop-out effect. I know the red is closer, thus bigger, and has more contrast, but this shade of blue means a lot to Connor. It is a similar shade to cardigans and scarfs that I wear to help him find and identify me, and I have realised over time that he is drawn to the colour.

Mary

Learning (in a classroom) MaryLearning (in a classroom) Mary

Mary (CVI Classification 3) writes: I remember finding classrooms difficult when I was at school, especially when they had lots of pictures and clutter all over the walls. I would find it difficult to concentrate on what was being taught, and my gaze would constantly be drawn to different visual elements around the room. Copying information off a board was almost impossible, as I would never be able to find the place I had been up to before I looked down at my book to write it down. If there was more than one person talking I would also find it difficult to follow along with what someone was saying, even if they were facing directly towards me. Being in a classroom all day was also exhausting for me. By the end of the day, I would struggle just to talk to other people and I certainly couldn't learn anything.

The classroom in this photo seems relatively ordered, there are not too many bright colours (other than the children's clothes) and the children are all sitting in ordered rows. However, the constant movement of the children's hands would be distracting, I was drawn to the child's hand that was holding onto a pencil and then to the girl with the pigtails. It was like being in a meeting or attending a lecture. People often comment that it seems that I'm not paying attention in these situations, as I am often not looking towards the person that is talking. Sometimes when the visual information gets too much, or I am trying to listen, I will avert my eyes to something plain in the surroundings. For example, a blank wall, or I will gaze out the window. People often have trouble interpreting this and think I am being rude.

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