What is CVI?


CVI Scotland’s Learning Spectrum

In the previous section (Learning at Home) we introduced the Learning Spectrum as a way to work out whether learning can be made easier and more effective for the person with CVI you support.

There are three areas to consider:

  • Whether there is a purpose that is useful to the person with CVI in relation to their life and development.
  • The environment, that is the physical room, area, place where the person with CVI is.
  • The substance - this is a big category that covers the person who is teaching, the materials they are using and whether they can be seen and understood, how much time they are allowing, if the person with CVI is able to try things for themselves etc.

Please read the previous section for more detailed explanations of these areas.

1) Purpose

If there is a purpose, proceed to 2) and 3) below.

If the purpose is not obvious, but the person with CVI is loving what they are doing, proceed to 2) and 3) below.

If there is no obvious purpose, think again - look at the example we gave in the previous section of switching a plastic sensory ball for a real orange. Sometimes only a simple change with a little thought is all that is needed.

2) Environment

Is the environment:

  • Perfect for the person with CVI - Green
  • Ok but could be improved upon - Orange
  • Extremely challenging - Red

3) Substance

The substance includes:

  • The people working with the person with CVI, in whatever capacity, possibly a sibling playing or a parent reading, or a home teacher or therapist.
  • The form of communication or contact - is it understandable for the person with CVI?
  • The materials used, like toys (as in the picture above) or games or things to touch - are they matched to the person's vision and so, accessible? Do they make sense? Do they have meaning?
  • The speed - might things be going too fast? Can you slow things down? Can you allow more time?
  • Does the person get to do things for themselves? Learning is considerably more difficult when people do things for you.
  • Content - is it already known, or not yet known, but learnable. Or does it need to wait until more is understood? (see Gordon Dutton's blog 13)

Is it:

  • Perfect for the person with CVI - Green
  • Ok but could be improved upon - Orange
  • Extremely challenging - Red

Very simply, having ensured that the learning is purposeful, you are looking for two greens for optimal learning opportunities.

In the following three sections we look at this more closely with actual examples of red, orange and green learning substance and environments. Please choose one of the following sections, that is most relevant to the person with CVI you support.

Section: Home: Learning - CVI Severely learning Delayed

Section: Home: Learning - CVI Mild / Moderate Learning Delayed

Section: Home: Learning - High Functioning


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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.