The Bridge School

Cortical Visual Impairment

Webinar Series

The Bridge School is excited to invite you to join our webinar series on Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and its impact on children with severe physical and speech impairments who rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

The series, funded in part by Ability Central Philanthropy, will focus on CVI and how it impacts every aspect of a student’s life. We are fortunate to have some of the leading experts in special education that will host these webinars over the next year.  Be sure to check back here for the schedule as it becomes available.

Background

Since its inception in 1987, The Bridge School staff has dedicated themselves to helping children with severe physical and speech impairments become active participants in their communities through education and communication.  One of the many challenges we faced in this process was how to structure an intervention that would address those children who also had Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI).  Following conventional practices at the time did not produce the results we hoped to achieve.  In 2012, we were introduced to the work of Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy.  Her approach provided us an assessment/measurement tool, a structure for instruction and a sound research-based approach for intervention.  The results with our students have been a resounding success and, in keeping with the vision and mission of The Bridge School, we want to share what we have learned through our experience and our research.  This webinar series is just one avenue for meeting the goal of disseminating what we have found to be effective.

What is the goal?

Our goal is to work with you in ways that positively impact the lives of children with CVI who require the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools, technologies and strategies. Children we know and care about. The content of each webinar reflects both our day-to-day experiences over many years and our recent research findings.

The CVI/AAC Webinar Series is part of a larger campaign, funded in part by Ability Central Philanthropy, to take action to address the significant gaps that exist today between the needs of children with CVI who use AAC and the clinical/educational services available to them and their families. 

What can I expect to learn?

We begin with the first webinar, Characteristics of CVI.  This helps lay the foundation for the series as it is important to know about CVI and CVI characteristics before embarking on AAC assessment and intervention approaches. The more a team knows, the more a particular child, student, client is likely to benefit. Future webinar topics include:

  • Understanding the Phases Associated with the CVI Range
  • CVI and Literacy
  • The Impact of CVI on Mobility
  • CVI in an Inclusion Setting
  • CVI Considerations for Displays on Speech Generating Devices
  • A Case Study: From Assessment to Intervention

*Topics are subject to change. Please check below for the updated schedule, topics and date/time information.

What do I need to remember?

Vision is critical to all learning, language development and to effective communication. AAC tools and technologies rely heavily on vision. Professionals and family members report that most children with CVI who use AAC rely primarily on non-linguistic methods rather than using AAC tools or technologies. That’s the problem. 

The solution? You won’t hear about “cookie cutter,” “out-of-the box,” “easy one and done” solutions. None of these children are alike. A constant theme you will hear is that as functional vision improves, each child’s access and use of AAC approaches increases. There are many steps along that path to explore. 

Can I receive a Certificate?

A Certificate of Participation is available for download and printing. This is a self-certification document. Fill out the certificate with your name, date attended and your signature.

Webinar 1: Visual & Behavioral Characteristics Associated with CVI Self-Certify [PDF, 3 MB]

Webinar 2: Understanding the Phases Associated with the CVI Range [PDF, 2.8MB]

All webinars will be available to view live on the scheduled date via Zoom Webinar. Registration links will be available here. The maximum capacity is 500 for the live webinars. After the live webinar, the archived/recorded version will be available here. Check back here for up-to-date links, registration and scheduled dates.

If you want to view the archives, you must register on our site. Click on the left navigation, Archived Webinars Registration.

Webinar Schedule

Date/TimeTitleRegistration/Archive Available
May 6, 2020
10 AM – 11 AM PST
1 PM – 2PM EST
Visual and Behavioral Characteristics Associated with CVI with Dr. Christine Roman-LantzyArchive available
June 24, 2020
10 AM – 11 AM PST
1 PM – 2PM EST
Understanding the Phases Associated with the CVI Range with Dr. Christine Roman-LantzyArchive available
Oct 30, 2020
2 – 3 PM PT
CVI and Its Impact on AAC:  Issues and Considerations – A Panel DiscussionLive Webinar Registration Link

Webinar 3: CVI and Its Impact on AAC:  Issues and Considerations – A Panel Discussion

This webinar convenes an interprofessional panel to address key issues impacting professionals, children with CVI who require AAC strategies, tools and technologies and their families.

The panel will respond to questions and issues submitted by participants prior to the webinar as well as incorporate questions and concerns they feel are important related to current practice, the limited availability of research that informs practice and the importance of finding ways to improve outcomes for children with CVI across domains, specifically language development and communicative competencies using multi-modal AAC approaches.

Submit your questions or issues you would like addressed to: questions@bridgeschool.org.  The deadline for questions is October 16th.

ALL participants will be expected to be familiar with information Dr. Christine Roman Lantzy presented in two previous webinars related to CVI characteristics and the three Phases of CVI as measured by the CVI Range.  If you were unable to participate in these webinars, you can view the archives in the schedule above.

The panelists for this webinar are:

Aileen Arai, Director of Education, The Bridge School.  Aileen holds the CVI Range Endorsement and has worked extensively in an educational program with children who have CVI.

Gabriela Berlanga, Director, CATIC, Teacher-In-Residence at The Bridge School, ISAAC Executive Committee. Gabriela has many years of experience working with children and adults with CVI in her clinic in Mexico City. 

Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Project Director, “Improving Outcomes for Children with Cortical Visual Impairment Who Rely on Augmentative and Alternative Communication”, The Bridge School.  Sarah has an international reputation for her work in language and communication.  She is currently conducting research with The Bridge School on effective intervention practices with children who have CVI.

Krista Wilkinson, Ph.D. Professor, Pennsylvania State University, Department of  Communication Sciences and Disorders. Krista‚Äôs current research applies the tools of neuroscience, in particular automated eye tracking technologies, to understand visual and cognitive processing of individuals with severe disabilities who rely on AAC, including children with CVI.

If you have questions about the webinars, please email questions@bridgeschool.org.