CVI: Impact of color

Learn about how color impacts access 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 the impact of color?

What is the impact of color on visual attention (ability to look at something)?

What is the impact of color on visual recognition (ability to interpret and recognize what you are looking at)?

Color is a learned method of understanding. My son uses color to code things. When he was in preschool, he struggled deeply with facial recognition, but he could tell me what color and kind of backpack each of his friends had. When he can’t remember the name of a person, character, or item, color is always the first (and sometimes the only!) descriptor. Color is how he tracks SO many things.

Kira, CVI Parent

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 examples are meant to inspire and provide a general idea. Accommodations and instructional approaches must be student-specific. Access is individual. 

Examples from a guide to common CVI IEP accommodations:

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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