We believe wholeheartedly that every child can learn with the right support. That’s why we strive to reach every family in need, and why we won’t give less than our best every time, for every child and for every family.
For families living with Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI), the stakes are incredibly high. Given the field’s lack of adequate resources and expertise, Perkins has committed to be part of the solution. And we know we can’t address this crisis alone. That’s why we’ve convened parents, educators, medical professionals and CVI experts to help us forge the best path forward, together.
For five years, the Perkins-Roman Range Endorsement has been part of our toolkit. However, we’ve seen some unintended consequences; namely, as an institution, we could not ensure assessor competency in administering the CVI Range. Therefore, we’ve decided to discontinue that Endorsement. We understand this decision is disappointing to some, but our commitment to our families—and doing our very best for them—comes first.
We want to be clear that the end of the Endorsement does not mean we are moving away from the Roman CVI Range and the methodology connected to the CVI Range. Dr. Roman’s contributions and legacy are remarkable, and that’s why we’ll continue to offer professionals training on the CVI Range. Dr. Roman’s perspective continues to be one part of our integrated, inclusive approach to comprehensive assessment and building promising practices and educational programming for children with CVI.
At Perkins, we embrace an inclusive approach to CVI, an approach that ensures that all unique visual behaviors are considered and an approach that includes all children regardless of how their CVI uniquely manifests itself. From our convening of stakeholders in the 2018 CVI COLAB, our work in the 2019 CVI Symposium and through our ongoing Symposium working groups, we continue to learn and grow in our philosophy and understanding of CVI. We believe that bringing ideas together from multiple perspectives—individuals with CVI, families, educators, researchers, and medical professionals—unlocks the best solutions for meeting the unique needs of all children with CVI. In our work, we use the term Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment to include the work of all the leading theorists and all documented elements of CVI. This ensures the inclusion of all children with CVI, with brain-based visual impairments, in getting the assessment, care and education they deserve.
We believe in the power of collaboration, diverse thinking, and constant learning to best support all children with CVI. To that end, we use a comprehensive and integrated approach to CVI assessment and educational programming at Perkins that incorporates the work of leading theorists and current research, so we can best understand and meet the needs of the whole child. And we intend to take this work beyond our campus gates.
Until then, we promise this: We are fully committed to building awareness, supporting families, increasing advocacy, and fostering collaboration to move CVI forward. We will continue to place individuals with CVI and their families at the center of everything we do—we elevate their voices and promote their self-advocacy. We will continue to offer high-quality training for educators and providers. We will continue to support school districts in need of CVI professional development. We will continue to collaborate with universities about the critical importance of comprehensive CVI training for TVIs. We will continue to build partnerships with medical institutions and researchers.
Perkins will continue to step up for every child with CVI and push for the best approaches to tackle this challenge. There is so much work to do and our kids can’t wait.