CVI: Form Accessibility

Learn about how the form of visual learning material (3D, 2D, abstract, symbols) may or may not be accessible for individuals with the CVI, what this assessment area looks at, and general ideas for accommodations.

Written by: Rachel Bennett

Access the video transcript.

At Perkins, we are a gathering place of ideas. The CVI visual behaviors synthesize current research and build on the work of leading theorists in the field. CVI is a lifelong disability and we want to ensure that all individuals with CVI are fully understood. The CVI visual behaviors are an ongoing need, they can change and they can improve for some, but the need never goes away. No one area is separated from the other—the CVI visual behaviors are highly connected and all can impact the individual with CVI at any time.

What is Form Accessibility?

When it comes to CVI, it’s important to know that looking is not understanding. Concept development must be supported with a multisensory approach. At times, recognition is solely dependent on compensatory strategies.

When I look at things with a lot of different colors, it plays tricks on my eyes.

Aidan, high school student with CVI

What are some compensatory strategies related to form accessibility?

When I read [print] it feels like my eyes are being pulled out from their centers. I have a hard time reading long passages because my eyes get tired after about two paragraphs.

Grace, elementary student with CVI

What are some look fors/questions when observing your child with CVI?

What are some examples of adaptations and accommodations? 

All accommodations must be based on individual assessments. The following are meant to inspire and provide a general idea. Accommodations and instructional approaches must be student-specific. Access is individual. 

A Learning Media Assessment (LMA)—completed after FVA and CVI assessment—is critical in determining the most accessible learning materials and how they are presented. The Learning Media Assessment should be completed multiple times during a child’s educational career and should be used informally to evaluate access to learning media on an ongoing basis. 

Examples from a guide to common CVI IEP accommodations

Depending on your child’s learning needs, educators might:

Check out adapting worksheets for CVI to learn about why worksheets are inaccessible to many with CVI and ideas on how to make worksheet learning accessible for individuals with CVI.

You don’t perceive objects as they are. You perceive them as you are.

David Eagleman

Following the science

Connecting current research on the brain, our visual system, and CVI to better understand the CVI visual behaviors.

Learn more about the development of the Perkins CVI Protocol.


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