Nicola McDowell speaking
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Nicola McDowell: My CVI journey

An adult with CVI and right hemianopia explains her challenges and how she copes with these challenges.

With 25 years working directly with students who are visually impaired, I have worked with numerous CVI students – even before “CVI” became an official diagnosis. As an educator, I now realize that I have been caught up in how to best serve the child; I have not had the opportunity of learning from an adult with CVI. Nicola McDowell’s My CVI Journey video made a profound impact on me, providing a much larger understanding about CVI and its impact.

Nicola McDowell is an adult diagnosed with CVI and right hemianopia (her brain does not process information that is on her right side). In this recorded workshop session, Nicola openly shared how her brain processes visual information, how this impacts her as an adult, and her coping strategies. She also applies her strategies to students with CVI. Nicola is a teacher of students with visual impairments.

Throughout this insightful video, Nicola paints an honest picture of why it is challenging to do normal activities and the strategies that help her deal with these challenges. She also talks about CVI meltdowns – when she hits her limit, is unable to function and what that looks like for her as an adult. She also relates that to how children have CVI meltdowns and these meltdowns are often in the form of trantrums. Nicola is able to put words to her triggers and reactions; something that students are not able to do. This is a “must see” video for educators and family members!

My CVI journey video:

By Diane Brauner

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