Cortical Visual Impairment

What Is Cortical visual impairment?


Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is a term used to describe visual impairment that occurs due to brain injury.  CVI differs from other types of visual impairment which are due to physical problems with the eyes.  Cortical visual impairment originates when damage occurs to the visual centers of the brain. This damage interferes with communication between the brain and the eyes.  The eyes are able to see, but the brain is not interpreting what is being seen.

Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is often referred to by other terms.  These terms include: cerebral visual impairment, neurological visual impairment, and brain damage related visual impairment.  In summary, all of these terms refer to visual dysfunction resulting from injury to visual centers of the brain.


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Below you can find frequently asked questions about Cortical visual impairment.

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How to help children with Cortical visual impairment enjoy eating.

Favorite Apps for Children with CVI

Check out a few of our favorite apps for kids with CVI.

Where Do I Start?

The key is to place opportunities for the child to see throughout their daily routine.

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Make light a learning tool.

Slant Boards

Slant boards provide an alternative surface on which a child can practice writing.

CVI Resources

Below you will find a list of resources that have been invaluable to us in learning about CVI. Please let us know if there are resources you think belong on the list.

Blogs & Websites

Babies with iPads is a blog style website with reviews of apps appropriate for children with disabilities. There is a list of iPad apps that they suggest are suitable for children with CVI.

The Independent Little Bee has some great information for families with visually imparied children. There are several posts specifically about CVI. is a great website dedicated to helping families with children who have vision impairments and multiple disabilities. Wonder Baby is sponsored by the Perkins School for the Blind and offer articles, reviews and a large collection of resources.

Little Idea Log, written by a parent, offers a multitude of fun and practical ideas for children with CVI.

Books And Courses

Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention is one of the few books written specifically about Cortical visual impairment. Dr. Roman-Lantzy has been working with people with visual impairment for over 30 years. For more information about Dr. Roman-Lantzy, visit her site: CVI Resources.

Dr. Gordon Dutton, a pediatric ophthalmologist, offers an online course about CVI. For more information about the course, visit his CVI course preview page.

A Team Approach to CVI in Schools, by Donna Shaman, strives to help children with CVI to better understand their visual world and increase their school participation through skillful and collaborative teaching strategies of the Individualized Education Program (IEP).


American Foundation for the Blind is an additional great resource for a variety of visual impairments. They host a comprehensive site about CVI, including some detailed articles.

American Printing House for the Blind is a great resource for information about a variety of visual impairments. They also offer a CVI information website.

The Blind Babies Foundation has a list of pediatric visual diagnosis fact sheets, including one about cortical visual impairment.

Perkins School for the Blind has a nice article about CVI written by Ellen Mazel, M.Ed. CTVI.

Support Groups

Thinking Outside the Light-Box is a Facebook support group dedicated to children with CVI. It is a great place to ask questions and get ideas and suggestions from other parents.

The Jewish Guild for the Blind offers a weekly conference call for parents of children with CVI. It is essentially a support group with guest speakers, including Dr. Roman-Lantzy, featured monthly.

Cortical Visual Impairments, a Yahoo! support group, is dedicated to helping others understand and share ideas about cortical vision impairments and how it relates to learning.


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