A majority of our students at The Bridge School are diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) as well as Severe Speech and Physical Impairments (SSPI). Our staff has always worked hard to use intervention strategies that enable each student to access all available learning modalities and to participate across all educational and communication activities in meaningful ways. Until 2011, however we were having very limited success using standard approaches recommended for children with CVI. As a result, our staff was searching for a consistent, systematic, measurable way of assessing these students’ use of functional vision over time and across contexts. All agreed we needed a good baseline before we could develop comprehensive and integrated intervention plans that would improve each child’s use of vision in ways that could positively impact their ability to learn, participate, communicate, initiate interactions and develop their interests and competencies over time. After an extensive review of the literature and interviews with researchers and practitioners, in 2011 we began to partner with vision specialist, Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, and have subsequently developed and implemented many of her CVI educational materials, teaching strategies and AAC and AT accommodations across our daily activities.
In this section of the website, we demonstrate how, and the extent to which our students with CVI and SSPI have improved in their use of functional vision, their communication skills, their independence, their engagement and learning, and academic performance within an educational program. This shift in The Bridge School’s approach to children with CVI and SSPI is making a meaningful difference in the children’s lives, their family’s lives and in the daily satisfaction our staff feels as a result of the dramatically improved outcomes of these children.