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Is Cerebral Visual Impairment A Disability

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Cerebral Visual Impairment: A Brain-Based Visual Condition

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Cortical or Cerebral Visual Impairment is defined as a vision loss or impairment due to brain injury or disease and can occur at any point in the life-span. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act eligibility category visual impairment, including blindness, students either have an ocular impairment, a neurological visual impairment, an ocular motor visual impairment, or any combination of the three. A neurological visual impairment includes students who have the diagnosis of Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment and involves damage to the visual pathways, or centers of the brain, which process visual information.

The degree of CVI can range from mild to severe and will depend upon the time of onset, as well as the location and intensity of the damage. Teachers of the Visually Impaired not only serve the unique needs of students who have traditional ocular visual impairments, but also students who have a neurological visual impairment. Within their preservice programs, Teachers of the Visually Impaired are trained to address the unique needs of students who experience adverse effects to their educational performance as a result of ocular and/or neurological vision loss.

What Are The Requirements Ophthalmologists Must Satisfy To Practice

An ophthalmologist must satisfy an aggressive educational requirement to practice this complex medical discipline. Ophthalmologists have the same kind of credentials as other medical professionals since optimizing eyesight requires sufficient training.

In the United States, practicing ophthalmologists are required to earn a bachelors degree and attend medical school. A four-year residency that includes internships in surgery, internal medicine, and pediatrics is also required. Candidates may also participate in rotations accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association.

Once these steps are complete, candidates need to sit for a certification exam administered by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists must complete 300 continuing education credits to re-certify every 10 years.

Most states also require ophthalmologists to acquire a license to practice; they must first be licensed within their own state as a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathy. In order to be licensed, they must complete medical school and pass all steps of the USMLE, a national licensing exam.

Depending On The Person We Might Try The Following Features:

  • Simple icons with bright colors
  • High contrast between the symbol and the background
  • Single objects photographed on a black background.
  • Increased space between the icons
  • A keyguard or other tactile way finder on top of the grid
  • Auditory scanning
  • Tactile icons placed on a light board

With CVI and AAC, we also need to consider the features of the environment, not just the device. You might want to work in a room without a lot of visual distractions, possibly with lowered light levels . You will want to position the device on a table without clutter . As with any AAC system, keep icon placement predictable. If vision isnt at all reliable, you might focus on using tactile and auditory cues. Project Core has open source, 3D printable core vocabulary symbols.

Collect data, try different systems, and make decisions based on what you observe. There are people with CVI who use a variety of different high tech AAC systems, including eye gaze. Dont assume an option is off the table until you have the data in hand.


CVI Part Two: Dr. Christine Romans CVI Range Assessment. Cerebral Palsy Daily Living. .

Mangan, S.;5 essential steps to finding the best AAC system for a learner with CVI. Perkins School for the Blind.

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What Causes Cortical Visual Impairment

Cortical visual impairment is caused by nerves in the brain being hurt. This sometimes happens when a baby is being born. Sometimes the baby does not get air as soon as he or she is ready to breath. The brain needs the air to stay alive.

A car crash or a bad fall can also hurt the nerves in the brain. This is called traumatic brain injury. Vision after traumatic brain injury may be a lot like CVI.

The Three Phases Of Cvi:

Cerebral Visual Impairment: A Brain

Dr. Roman-Lantzy, author of Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention, divides CVI into three phases. Most children start in Phase I, which means that most of the CVI characteristics are present. As a child progresses through the three phases many of the characteristics begin to resolve. This process can take several years and requires diligence and persistence. Children in Phase III approach near normal vision to varying degrees and this may even result in literacy.

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Strabismus And Ocular Motility

Infantile exotropia is more common as compared to esodeviation in patients with cortical visual loss. On the contrary children with PVL present with esotropia commonly and needs to be differentiated from infantile esotropia.

A specific trait of strabismus in these patients is dyskinetic strabismus, where esotropia changes to exotropia on a momentary basis. Repeated evaluation and constant deviation measurements are thus crucial before planning any surgical intervention for strabismus. Nystagmus is a common feature and indicates subcortical rather than cortical damage and may also be associated with concomitant anterior pathway diseases, such as optic nerve or retinal disease.

Deficits In Visual Cognition Due To Post

Lesions affecting the ventral stream pathways impair recognition of objects, people and route finding, while lesions of the dorsal stream pathways are accompanied by impairments that can interfere with visual exploration, visual attention , spatial organization and representation, and visuo-motor coordination .

Ventral Stream Dysfunction

Visual recognition impairments, which in adult patients are collectively known as visual agnosias, result from damage to the occipito-temporal lobes and ventral stream pathways and are not linked to alterations in verbal function. Children with such deficits have difficulties interpreting what they see, but can still recognize what they access using their other senses . These impairments most commonly affect recognition of images and objects ; however, they can also affect recognition of faces, the ability to see and interpret facial expressions, and even spelling .

At a more fundamental level of image interpretation, the capacity to estimate size and orientation of objects and lines can also be affected. Even if visual recognition deficits do not directly alter the planning of action in space , of course, the motivation to act toward unrecognized objects must be weaker than in typical developing children . In addition, as we present below, dorsal stream dysfunction leads to severe visuo-motor deficits.

Dorsal Stream Dysfunction

Balint syndrome
Hemi-inattention and hemispatial neglect

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Where Does A Parent Go To Have Their Childs Vision Assessed

If a parent believes a child may have a visual impairment, the parent should consult with an ophthalmologist.

Depending on the nature of a parents options through his or her medical insurance, or where he or she lives, they may choose to set an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist that specializes in childhood visual disorders. However, a conventional ophthalmologist is trained to recognize, assess, and treat visual issues in children.

In some cases, a parent might be able to receive the services he or she needs from an optometrist, but an optometrist is not a medical doctor, and the nature of the treatment he or she can provide will be limited.

Ophthalmologists are board-certified physicians that are trained in diseases and conditions of the eye. They practice in a variety of locations and work in concert with a childs medical team.

Places where a parent may seek an assessment from an ophthalmologist include:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctors office

What Are Some Of The Visual Impairments That A Child May Struggle With

Introduction to Cerebral Visual Impairment in Children: Visual Impairment Due to Damage to the Brain

Visual impairments are strikingly common among children with Cerebral Palsy. Common visual conditions that are found in children with Cerebral Palsy include strabismus, cataracts and refractive issues. Strabismus is a severely turned eye that makes it impossible for both eyes to work together. Cataracts are cloudy areas in an otherwise healthy lens. Refractive issues involve circumstances where the eyes become blurry or are unable to focus.

Vision acuity concerns can include myopia , hyperopia , presbyopia ; astigmatism ; and refractive errors . This is the most common set of vision issues, and the ones most likely to be corrected by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.

In addition, a child with Cerebral Palsy may experience one or more of the following vision concerns:

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Assessment Of Functional Vision

Central Visual Functions

Impaired clarity of vision , the ability to see contrast, the perception of colour and the central visual fields can be impaired in any combination, so that only what can be seen conveys information and facilitates communication and guidance of movement. Detailed assessment of each aspect is needed to understand the child’s functional vision. Each and every limitation needs to be fully understood by all to ensure there is no expectation that the child with low vision can learn from material that is inaccessible because it cannot be seen.

Measurement of visual acuity is needed for every child. It is a measure of line thickness and gap width that is needed for black and white detail to be seen; however, it does not always reflect functional vision , which requires effective attention and concentration and also needs to be assessed. Visual acuity may be low in children with CVI despite normal pupil responses and normal eyes.

In higher-functioning children, visual acuity can be tested by assessing the recognition acuity, using Lea symbols or crowded and uncrowded visual acuity charts with pictures and letters approach matched with age and competence. Functional visual acuity is also assessed and tends to be more than twice that of visual acuity. It is essential for all to understand that any element of a scene, picture or writing that has a line or gap thickness less than has been consistently measured is not visible.

Perception of Movement

Myths And Misconceptions About Cvi

The childs vision will vary from day to day, hour to hour. FALSE. The childs visual abilities do not change, the environment may change.

And unlike many ocular problems, CVI patients can improve their vision. Improved vision feeds cognition and builds those neuropathways. This means actual learning and improvement in skills can take place, rather than just an improvement in coping skills.

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Vision Loss Facts And Statistics

The Lancet Global Commission on Global Eye Health

  • Over 90% of vision loss could be avoided.
  • 55% of people with vision loss are women.
  • 73% of people with vision loss are over 50 years old.
  • Poor eye health leads to an increased risk of mortality.
  • Over 90% of those with vision loss live in low and middle-income countries.
  • Unaddressed poor vision results in a global economic productivity loss of $411 Billion per annum.
  • 1.1 billion peopleâ¯experience vision loss primarily because they do not have access to eye care services.
  • Children with a vision impairment are up to 5 times less likely to be in formal education and often achieve poorer outcomes.
  • The number of people with vision loss will rise from 1.1 billion to 1.7 billion people by 2050, mainly due to population growth and population ageing.
  • Eye care needs are expected to increase substantially; projections estimate half of the global population will need access to regular eye care services to prevent/treat sight loss by 2050.

Leading Causes of Vision Loss Include:

  • Unoperated cataracts, responsible forâ¯vision loss in 100â¯million people.
  • Uncorrected refractive error, which is responsible for distance vision loss in 161 million people and near vision loss in an additional 510 million people.
  • Age-related macular degeneration , glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy accounting for 8.1 million, 7.8 million and 4.4 million people with vision loss respectively.
  • 56 million people have other cause of vision loss.

Vision Facts :

Adaptive Technology For Vision Disability

Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI)

Persons with low vision or other visual disabilities have a number of adaptive technologies available for their use.

  • A list of available screen readers can be found at:

Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as and or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disclaimer: Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.

Cite This Page : Disabled World. . Vision Disability Types and Information. Disabled World. Retrieved September 14, 2021 from

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Cortical/cerebral Visual Impairment Traumatic Brain Injury And Neurological Vision Loss

During the last decade, vision loss caused by injury to the brain rather than by conditions or diseases of the eye has been the focus of increasing attention. As extremely premature infants survive in increasing numbers due to medical advances, often after sustaining hemorrhage or other trauma to the brain, and wounded soldiers who have survived grievous injury fighting foreign wars have returned to this country, the incidence of visual impairment tied to neurological causes has risen in the United States.

Truth: Children Diagnosed With Cvi Rarely Use Eye Contact Because Of The Complexity Of The Skills Needed To Do So

Consider just a few of the major characteristics of CVI such as visual latency, visual complexity, preference for movement, and distance impairment, and their direct involvement with human interaction. The definition of visual latency is in fact the delayed response when looking at objects where your child will look at an object and then look away. Also, it is seldom in every day occurrences that your child and another person will be in an environment without any other visual or auditory distractions that your child would prefer. The speaker will often move their hands and arms while talking, drawing your childs visual attention to those areas rather than the speakers eyes.

In her TVI Teacher blog, Ellen Mazel, suggests focusing on other more attainable and important goals for your child instead of eye contact that will support eye contact once visual skills are solid for less complex targets.

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Neurodevelopmental Consequences Of Pa And Preterm Birth

Not surprisingly, in children with DCD and CP, the same aetiologies as above-mentioned for children with CVI have been reported . Children with CVI, CP and DCD may thus share the same visual and visuo-motor semiology as well as the same types of etiology and there is thus a need to systematically investigate for evidence of CVI in at risk children in order to propose the most appropriate rehabilitation according to the most obvious and incapacitating deficit. In the following section, we briefly present how CVI can be identified in children before other diagnostic labels, especially CP or DCD, are considered. Indeed, we propose a systematic examination of the visual function in all at risk children before formal learning to read in order to avoid the deleterious effects of CVI on motor, cognitive and social development .

Truth: Quite The Opposite Movement Is Great For Attracting The Visual Attention Of A Child With Cvi

Eye Gaze Essentials | Cerebral Visual Impairment

Children with CVI may look, then look away, but adding motion can often significantly increase their gazing time upon an object. Twinkling or shining of lights or metallic objects will give the appearance of movement even if the object is not physically moving. Try shining a light on the object or area you want the child to look at or shiny mylar balloons to attract your childs attention. iPad apps designed specifically for children with CVI often incorporate movement and flashes in different parts of the screen to help kids learn.

Tap-N-See Now Use this simple app to help your child learn to track moving objects or recognize colors; use their vision in a simple and non-cluttered environment; or learn about cause and effecttapping the animal gets you a sound!

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What Can You Do

Join us. The Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment Society is a community of doctors, educators, therapists, parents, and advocates who are working together to answer these questions. Through interdisciplinary education and research, and ongoing advocacy for awareness and resources, we hope to improve the quality of life for all children with CVI.

Vision Disability Types And Information

Updated/Revised Date: 2021-02-17Author: Disabled World | Contact us

Synopsis: Explanation of vision disabilities as a type of disability. Includes information regarding normal vision, moderate visual impairment, severe visual impairment, blindness and legally blind classifications. Visual impairment is defined as a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses or medication. Cataracts can be either congenital or acquired; age-related opacification of the lens is the most common type.

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Visual Impairments Due To Damage Or Dysfunction Of The Visual Pathways Behind The Optic Chiasm

The central visual functions of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and color vision, as well as the peripheral visual fields can be aicted by lesions or dysfunction affecting the optic tracts, lateral geniculate nuclei, optic radiations or primary visual cortices . As we present below, according to the location and extent of the post-chiasmatic lesion, the visual deficit varies considerably from a decrement in visual field or limited perceptual dysfunction to profound impairment of vision such as in cerebral blindness . Figure 2 illustrates how the visual fields can be affected.

FIGURE 2.Stylised diagram illustrating homonymous visual field disorders, and the approximate location of affected brain structures. .

Moderate to Mild Visual Impairments

We each know that our vision is normal. Children with CVI are no exception, especially if they are not aware that their low vision is responsible for diminishing their performance when compared with their peers. They are therefore not symptomatic, but are often detected when their visual performances are identified by parents and carers as being sub-optimal. Visual acuity can be diminished or normal, while parental reports of even profound visual difficulties can sometimes be inappropriately dismissed by professionals, who erroneously equate seeing with visual acuity.

Homonymous Lack of Vision

Concentric Constriction of the Binocular Visual Field

Cerebral Blindness

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