What is CVI?



This example follows on from the 3Z (Zoom In Zip Up Zoom Out) previous section, which explains the approach in detail.

We have chosen the example of an orchestra because so many people with CVI enjoy music. The techniques and understanding will range considerably between those for a profoundly disabled person with CVI (CVI Classification 1) and a high functioning person with CVI (CVI Classification 3), but the principles are the same.

We have chosen the piece of music Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns to help build up knowledge of the orchestra, and will be learning about:

  • Music
  • Animals
  • Instruments

Start with the orchestra - too much visual information, so we zoom in

To the double basses

Let's zoom in some more - what does a double bass look like?

Look how big they are?

If this is still too complex, zoom in some more and simplify

For a child like Daniel, we may have to zoom in further

So what does it sound like?

Here's a bit from Pirate's of the CaribbeanVideo Link: https://www.youtu.be/Zook_bGHT3E

It's fast. Here's a slow piece

It's called Cannon in D by PachelbelVideo Link: https://www.youtu.be/QupB4NN8fI0

Now, let's hear our double bass in Carnival of the Animals, it is the elephants

Video Link: https://www.youtu.be/KV--SyCo7aA

Elephants are big and walk slowly (from here you could look at elephants in more detail, including where they live, the shape of the elephant, films of elephants moving, something leathery for the texture of the skin and sounds of their call).

Listening to the piece of music, did you hear the double bass? The name for an object that creates a sound that is music is called a musical instrument.

The orchestra has many different musical instruments

There was another instrument playing with it, a piano

Here's a piano

That's a lot of visual information, let's zoom in

these are called piano keys,these are called piano keys,

There is a long row of themThere is a long row of them

This is what a piano sounds like:

Video Link: https://www.youtu.be/0CUhakq1q-I

Let's zoom back out again, and listen to our piano and double bass together as the elephants in carnival of the Animals

Video Link: https://www.youtu.be/KV--SyCo7aA

So, we are starting to be able to create a more complex picture and understanding. We have zoomed in to look at the parts, and as knowledge develops, we can start to zip those parts together (zooming out). There are many ways to add to the build-up of experience, including of course an opportunity to feel and play the instruments.

The Kangaroos in the Carnival of the Animals are from two pianos playing together:

Video Link: https://www.youtu.be/Ae_Obzv0XeI

Kangaroos are animals that jump, the music is meant to sound like them bouncing around.

Staying with the music, and the pianos, here's another animal, this time a swan

Listen to the music, can you hear the piano?

Video Link: https://www.youtu.be/FSE76MqZL-c

There's another instrument, it's called a cello. Let's go back to our original orchestra and see if we can find the cello.

A cello looks a lot like a double bass, but is smaller and sounds a little higher

Listen to a cello, and a double bass playing together

Can you tell which one is which?Video Link: https://www.youtu.be/_aHzSjbLDOU

So now let's look at the section of the orchestra with double basses and cellos

Combining an increasing knowledge and understanding of the parts, we are able to zip them together, to develop a meaningful understanding of the bigger whole. We still have a little work to do to learn an understanding of the whole orchestra, but step by step, as a new 'part' is learnt., it can be zipped to the increasingly bigger whole, using visualisation from increasingly strong and complex memories formed by our experiences (see Recognition).

This Applies to Everything

We have used what might be considered a very academic example, something that should be taught in school maybe. This was just to illustrate the approach, but having limited simultanagnostic visual attention affects everything.


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At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together working towards developing the understanding of this complex condition.