10 ideas for setting up a CVI accessible remote learning space

Environmental adaptations are critical for children with CVI. He are 10 tips for setting up your child’s learning space to allow access to learning.

A young boy learning how to spell on an Ipad at a desk

A critical component of the remote learning experience for children with Cortical Visual Impairment/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is setting up your child’s learning space to allow optimal access to their learning. Modifications of the environment must be based on assessment and matched to your child’s unique needs.

In Part 1 of our CVI and remote learning series, you learned about how to help create a strong foundation for your child’s remote learning experience. Now let’s focus on some ideas for thinking about how to create the best learning environment for your child.

A place to start is to sit where your child will sit when they do school at home. Observe the environment from their point of view. How might you modify the space to meet the needs of your child best?

Ten considerations for setting up your child’s remote learning space

  1. Face your child away from light sources and visually cluttered areas.
  2. Reduce extraneous noise, such as the television or non-essential conversation.
  3. Reduce access to visually distracting movement, such as family members walking around or curtains blowing by an open window.
  4. Reduce environmental light to support visual attention to the computer.
  5. Monitor glare on the computer screen. Notice if any light sources are behind your child’s screen that may be creating glare.
  6. Position your child so the area behind and to the sides of the computer during tasks is a non-complex background: a bare wall or area with solid draped sheets or blankets. It may help to set the learning area in the corner of a room or use a large black trifold.
  7. Drape a cloth over the keyboard if using a laptop to reduce complexity or distraction from backlit keys.
  8. Use black paper to block out non-essential areas of the computer screen (area/border outside of video screen).
  9. Place the screen in the preferred visual field. For example, use an iPad stand that allows the device to be placed at eye level or above for a child with lower visual field loss.
  10. Find the best physical position for your child that supports vision use. For some, this means a heavily supportive chair; for others, it may mean a seat that supports mobility and movement.

Desk in corner book with bare walls, computer on the desk, and a fitness ball used as a chair

Desk with iPad on stand and a black trifold to block out visual clutter

Read on to Part 3 of our CVI and Remote Learning series: Tips to give your child’s educator on how to present themselves on screen.

CVI parents: got questions? Join the CVI Now Parent Group to ask your questions, access live virtual events, and connect with other families.

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Girl eats at the table with her iPad and a black sland board with numbers and cubes

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Low-tech CVI accommodations for a visually complex task