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CVI Conference Filled with Enthusiasm for Change
By Dorinda Rife, Vice President of Educational Services & Product Development at APH
In June, APH’s CVI Project Leader and I attended the American Conference on Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, “CVI is a decreased visual response due to a neurological problem affecting the visual part of the brain. Typically, a child with CVI has a normal eye exam or has an eye condition that cannot account for the abnormal visual behavior.”
It didn’t take long to realize the vast amount of important information that would be available to attendees. The conference covered CVI with incredible depth and breadth, looking at current research and best practice regarding pediatric CVI. It was an amazing congregation of parents, teachers, related service providers, administrators, and medical doctors.
The enthusiasm and energy surrounding each speaker was contagious. As I listened to the information, my mind conjured image after image of the students I have served over the years, and I thought immediately about how I might plan for them today given the new information I learned. APH has made products for children who have CVI for many years, and the information gathered at the conference will be important as we move forward, looking for more ways to serve people who have CVI.
A few of the topics included a personal perspective from an adult living with CVI, information on learning media assessments for children with CVI, occupational therapy, and collaborative teaming for a student with multiple disabilities and CVI.
In addition to the sheer volume of information I received, I particularly enjoyed hearing from parents about their children: their personalities, strengths and skills, and the parents’ dreams for them, in addition to the challenges they have faced. It was easy to find common ground with each parent and professional as we all strive to make the world a more accessible place for people who have CVI.
APH has products designed specifically for people diagnosed with CVI as well as those with multiple disabilities. The conference was a great place to learn more about the tools and resources that still need to be developed. I’m excited to find ways to incorporate what we learned into our current and future CVI products.
I’d like to thank the Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment Society for hosting such a wonderful conference. We are excited to attend next year to both learn and share our CVI products with parents and educators.