Providing arena-based assessments and strategies for infants, toddlers, and school-aged children with blindness and visual impairment, including Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)
Assessments and Strategies
The Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children (WPSBC) provides arena-based assessments and strategies for infants, toddlers, and school-aged children with blindness and visual impairment, including Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). The VisAbilities Clinic is a free service to all families throughout the region.
The Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children is pleased to partner with families, school districts, Intermediate Units, and agencies to support positive learning outcomes. At our on-campus clinic, infants, toddlers, and school-aged children with both ocular visual impairments and/or CVI receive comprehensive team evaluations, consultative supports and recommendations for programming.
This collaborative approach engages the child in a play-based assessment with a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI), Occupational and Physical Therapists, and a Speech Language Pathologist. Through observation and family interviews, this integrated team approach provides recommendations to help children succeed across all areas in learning and play.
Observational information may include the impact of a visual impairment on a child’s gross motor, fine motor, and communication skills. The TVI will observe and evaluate use of vision, best visual field or environment, favorite visual targets, and changes in the child's visual behaviors. This assessment will also address any assistance or modifications the family may need for home or classroom environments.
Following the assessment, a full narrative report and recommendations for carryover are provided to the family. Ongoing consultation with the team is available to support the child's visual development and functioning. These services may include:
- Assistance in designing the optimal learning environment based on the child's visual needs.
- Strategies to maximize potential in the educational environment.
- In-service training offered to families, school districts, Intermediate Units and/or early intervention agencies.
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children
Cortical or Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is a form of neurological visual impairment caused by dysfunction of the brain rather than a disorder of the ocular system. Neurologically based visual impairments, including CVI, may be temporary or permanent and can range from mild visual impairment to total blindness. CVI interferes with the brain’s visual systems ability to consistently understand or interpret what the eyes see.*
WPSBC is a leader in implementation of instructional strategies for students with visual impairments, including those diagnosed with CVI. With strategic interventions and accommodations, children with CVI have the potential to improve visual functioning to better access the learning environment.
*To learn more about CVI, visit: https://www.pattan.net/Disabilities/Blind-Visual-Impairment/Topics-of-Interest/Neurological-Visual-Impairments-including-CVI
Get in Touch
Contact Lisa Reale, Principal of the Primary Program, at 412- 621-0100 ext.272 or [email protected] to learn more, or to schedule an appointment.