The Bridge School

Cortical Visual Impairment

Characteristics and Phases of The CVI Range Assessment

Completing The CVI Range Assessment includes a direct assessment of the characteristics associated with CVI and determining if and to what extent those characteristics impact a student’s participation in differing educational environments. Students who are impacted by these characteristics will have difficulty using their vision conventionally.

Students at The Bridge School with CVI and severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI) will have differing needs and indicators of their CVI. For many students assessed on The CVI Range Assessment, incorporating a visually guided reach can be one of the goals toward resolution of their CVI however, for some of the students at The Bridge School, orthopedic impairment not CVI impacts their visually guided reach and this gives some variation on how The CVI Range Assessment is administered and scored. In general however, The Bridge School follows the assessment as it is intended.

Adam can focus on photos displayed on the light box along with his creative writing. When it’s his turn to be in the Author’s Chair, he uses the light box to help him share his work with his classmates.

10 Characteristics of CVI

  • Strong color preference
  • Need for movement for visual attention
  • Visual latency when visually attending to what is presented
  • Visual field preference
  • Difficulties with visual complexity in objects, faces, arrays, and environments
  • Light gazing and non-purposeful gaze
  • Difficulty distance viewing
  • Atypical visual reflexes
  • Difficulty viewing what is novel and not familiar
  • Difficulty with visually guided reach

Once a student is assessed, information is compiled on scoring guides. The scoring guides determine a student’s range of visual function and placement within three broad phases of CVI. An educational team can then use the guidelines defined in the three phases to plan educational needs and interventions.

Carefully designed instruction and environmental adaptations help a child progress toward resolution of CVI in three phases.