By: Gloria Cardone
Children with VI (Vision) or CVI (cortical Vision Impairment) issues are attracted to light or perceive light and drawn to it. This was certainly the case with Jose’ when he started school in August. He had never been in school before and our east facing wall of windows proved tempting all the time. So how to get him interested in moving from the windows to other areas in the classroom? Or, since Jose’ was so motivated by the light, how could we use it to his advantage and make it a learning tool?
We didn’t have the space or availability of a light room but we did have some extra pegboard. What about placing some of it over the windows to block the light and attach toys to it? We didn’t want to permanently attach anything to the windows so we could clean the boards when necessary. Velcro was used(Velcro rule: soft landing) and the lower windows were covered with only a little bit of natural light peeking through.
Toys were easily attached using zip ties (on the back of the boards away from curious little hands) or bungee cords. Jose’ has light up or noisy toys available to play with, a spoon with a pan for banging, a car attached to a string to pull back and forth, balls that light up when touched or that vibrate when pulled, a Leap Frog learning tool for Jose’ to explore. Plus a variety of textures to explore are always available to him and his friends.
Jose’ has enjoyed the wall and has definitely become more inquisitive and he is playing and interacting with his environment in a more meaningful way. And on occasion he still does peek over and under to get a glimpse of the bigger picture.