Classroom Freebies

Susan Berkowitz’s Free Communication Board for Students with Cortical Vision Impairment

Did you know February is Vision Awareness Month?  If you’re a speech-language pathologist or teacher working with students with cerebral palsy or other brain-based disabilities, chances are you have a student with C.V.I.

Cortical vision impairment has nothing to do with acuity.  It is  vision impairment caused by damage or injury to the brain.
Because the areas for vision in our brains are not just localized to one small area, chances are if there is any brain damage at all that some aspect of vision in the brain is impacted.

CVI can be found in individuals who have had a head injury, brain infection, brain maldevelopment, or asphyxia.
There are some specific characteristics of CVI; including color preferences, attraction of movement, response latency, reduced visual fields, difficulty with complex visual stimuli, gazing at lights or at nothing at all, reflexive responses to visual stimuli, attraction to novel visual stimuli and visual-motor mismatch.

Students who have CVI who need AAC often use some sort of auditory scanning; either through Partner Assisted Scanning (PAS) or by using a high-tech device that scans and is activated with a switch.

Some students with CVI can discriminate visual stimuli when color contrast is maximized and/or preferred colors are used, as well as increased size of the stimuli and adjustments made periodically to find the maximal visual field placement.


I use this communication board for some students who are emergent communicators and who use some vision in addition to PAS.  I make sure to also include some access to fringe vocabulary - normally nouns - which I customize for each individual student, and attach as flip strips at the top or side.

Just right click and download to your desktop.