Children With Cortical Visual Impairment and Complex Communication Needs: Identifying Gaps Between Needs and Current Practice

Over half of the students at The Bridge School have Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). This impairment impacts EVERY aspect of their lives. Over the years, the staff has reached out for help; however, they often found that little information was available for them or the children’s parents, which prompted us to take a closer look at the situation facing these children across the United States and beyond. This article reflects our research and includes information about barriers professionals currently face in providing services to these children, including a lack of training at the preservice and inservice levels and limited opportunities to learn from and collaborate with other disciplines. Parents also reported that the communication outcomes for their children with CVI who use AAC was of concern. Their children relied on body-based methods with limited access to language. Our hope is that this study provides some information that is accessible for parents and professionals who work with these children. It is a call to action!