The What’s the Complexity Framework: Designing a visually accessible school day for the child with CVI

Learn how to use The What's the Complexity Framework in order to evaluate the complexity of school environments, tasks and materials and to guide educational teams in creating more visually accessible, appropriate learning activities for children with CVI.

Use the “What’s the Complexity” Framework to design a visually accessible school day for for children with CVI.

Participants will move toward an advanced understanding of the CVI Characteristics (Roman-Lantzy) with an emphasis on how they manifest in students who score in late Phase II and Phase III on The CVI Range (Roman-Lantzy).

We will study the characteristic “Difficulty with Visual Complexity” in-depth, explore its central relationship to the other characteristics, and examine the ways in which it can impact behavior and access to education for a child with CVI. Our study of visual complexity will integrate the literature on cortical and cerebral visual impairment.

Participants will learn how to use The What’s the Complexity Framework in order to evaluate the complexity of school environments, tasks and materials and to guide educational teams in creating more visually accessible, appropriate learning activities for children with CVI.

In addition to learning how to rate the complexity level of a particular environment or education task, we will also emphasize the importance of balancing the complexity of the environment and task in each activity, managing cumulative complexity and visual fatigue throughout the school day, assessing interpretation of two-dimensional images, and providing direct instruction in salient features.

Course Objectives

Participants will:

  • Identify the main barriers to visual access throughout the school day for children with CVI
  • Explain how the CVI characteristics manifest in children throughout The CVI Range, particularly those who score later on The CVI Range (late Phase II through Phase III)
  • Explain how inappropriate visual demands can affect the behavior of children with CVI
  • Assess a child’s ability to interpret two-dimensional images
  • Design interventions for math and literacy interventions
  • Describe the ways in which the ideas and strategies from the literature on cortical visual impairment and cerebral visual impairment relate to and complement one another
  • Complete a What’s the Complexity Assessment for one of their own students
  • Contribute to an electronic salient features dictionary that will be available to participants beyond the completion of the course
  • Describe how a school team can make learning media decisions that balance the students need for the most efficient, immediate access to the curriculum with an emphasis on opportunities for visual development.
  • Create a Learning Media Profile for a student, outlining the ways in which the student’s learning modalities can support one another in school activities.

Required Text

“What’s the Complexity” will use selected chapters from:

International Participants: Please contact [email protected] for information about shipping Sensory Balance outside the United States. Our team will take your order by phone and arrange shipping.

How to earn Graduate Credit

You will have the opportunity to add 3 graduate credits to your registration for an additional $295.00 through Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg, MA). Instructions will be provided to registered participants two weeks before the start date.

Other Payment Option

To pay by Purchase Order, choose the Purchase Order option during checkout. Contact Perkins eLearning at [email protected] for any questions.

What people are saying about this course…

“Matt Tietjen’s What’s The Complexity Framework is nothing short of brilliant. He so expertly synthesizes ideas and research from multiple perspectives in the CVI world, which only deepened my knowledge and understanding. This frame translates the CVI Range results into a clear user-friendly framework for educational teams that reveals how profoundly CVI affects our children. I am so incredibly grateful to have been able to take this class and receive his detailed feedback…”

“It was very practical and useful! The materials were presented in such a way that everything made sense and was integrated. This can be hard to achieve with online classes, so it was very well organized and thought out!”

“A fabulous challenge and so skillfully done that others relatively new to their study/discovery of CVI will have no trouble learning as they follow Matt’s lead.”


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Meet the Presenters

Matt Tietjen, M.Ed., CTVI
Matt Tietjen is an education consultant and teacher of students with visual impairments in Connecticut. Matt earned his special education certification from Southern Connecticut State University. He received his certification in teaching students with visual impairments from UMASS Boston, where he also earned his Master’s in Education. Matt specializes in working with children who have cortical visual impairment. He developed the What’s the Complexity Framework out of his conviction that children with CVI deserve a visually accessible school day. Matt is passionate about teaching families and educators about CVI and partnering with them to create CVI-driven educational programs. Matt lectures nationally on the What’s the Complexity Framework and other related topics. He was a featured speaker at the American Conference on Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment in 2016 and 2017 and a speaker at Perkin’s Third Annual CVI Symposium in 2017. He led a New-England-wide training on the What’s the Complexity Framework in 2016 and a one-day workshop on the framework through Perkins in April of 2017. Matt is Perkins-Roman CVI Range Endorsed and has supported Christine Roman-Lantzy in her online CVI course since February of 2016. The What’s the Complexity Framework is being published by AFB Press in Christine Roman-Lantzy’s forthcoming book, which is expected in the fall of 2017.

Matt Tietjen has been paid by Perkins to be the instructor for this class. He does not have nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Some publications or products used in this course are produced, manufactured, or resold by Perkins.

Perkins School for the Blind is approved by the Continuing Education board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. See the course information for number of ASHA CEUs, instructional level, and content area. ASHA CE Provider approval does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.

ASHA CE Approved Provider

AOTA Approval 3.3 CEUs

September 26, 2022 - November 20, 2022
Multiple weeks
3 Graduate
40 Continuing Education
40 Professional Development
3.3 ASHA
3.3 AOTA
$450 - Regular Price