Neurological visual impairment (NVI) is a visual impairment caused by an injury or disorder within the brain rather than the structure of the eye. NVI is the cause of a visual impairment for a significant number of individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired.

NVI is broken into three categories: cortical visual impairment (CVI), delayed visual maturation, and cortical blindness. The resources on this page currently focus on CVI.

Cortical Visual Impairment

Ten Visual and Behavioral Characteristics Related to CVI

Source: Roman-Lantzy, Christine (2018). Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention, 2nd Edition. AFB Press.

  1. Difficulty with visual complexity
  2. Difficulty with distance viewing
  3. Visual field preferences
  4. Difficulty with visual novelty
  5. Visual latency
  6. Absence of a visually guided reach
  7. Color preference
  8. Need for movement
  9. Need for light
  10. Atypical visual reflexes

Medical Conditions Associated With CVI

Source: Roman-Lantzy, Christine (2018). Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention, 2nd Edition. AFB Press.

Eye Conditions

  • Optic nerve conditions
  • Refractive error
  • Strabismus

Medical Conditions

  • Asphyxia
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Periventricular leukomalacia
  • Cerebral vascular accident
  • Infection
  • Structural abnormalities
    • Dandy Walker Syndrome
    • Lissencephaly
    • Schizencephaly
    • Congenital hydrocephalus
    • Polymicrogyria
    • Agenesis of the corpus callosum
    • Chromosomal disorders
    • Infections in utero (cytomegalovirus)
  • Metabolic Conditions
    • Severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
    • Kernicterus (high bilirubin levels)
    • Encephalopathy
  • Acquired CVI
    • Hypoxia (near-drowning, near-SIDS)
    • Gun shot wounds or blows to the head
    • Auto accidents involving the head
    • Shaken baby syndrome
    • Any serious injury to the brain
    • Encephalitis
    • Meningitis

CVI Range: Assessment and Scoring

CVI – Assessment

The West Virginia Department of Education provides videos that show an example of assessing a student for CVI. A completed CVI Range is also available as an example. 

CVI Web Exercise

Texas School for the Blind provides a three-part CVI exercise to use with Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy’s CVI Range Assessment. To access the web exercise, click the links under the “CVI Exercise Menu” on the right side of the page.

Resources

MDE-LIO does not endorse the purchase or use of any non-State Board of Education-adopted commercial products. Products and services noted below are included for information only and their inclusion should not be interpreted as a recommendation of MDE-LIO.

MDE-LIO Resources

Creating Books for Students With CVI [PDF]

This document includes step-by-step guides for making handheld books for students in all phases of CVI.

Creating PowerPoint Stories and Books for Students with CVI [PDF]

This document provides tips and steps for creating books for students in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Webinars

Webcast: Cortical Visual Impairment and the Evaluation of Functional Vision

This webcast from Perkins eLEARNING features Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy presenting an overview of CVI. Dr. Roman talks about the importance of early diagnosis and common diagnostic issues. In addition, she provides information about the specific characteristic behaviors of CVI and examples of each. The webcast also provides information regarding the evaluation of functional vision as well as interventions to improve functional vision.

Apps

The iPad and Students With Visual and Multiple Disabilities: Apps for Kids with CVI

This Paths to Literacy post suggests apps that encourage visual attention, looking and basic touching, and refined visual-motor integration skills. A few apps were even designed specifically for children who have CVI.

Specific iPad Apps for Students With CVI in Phase III

This post suggests apps that can be accessed on the iPad and are particularly helpful for students who are in Phase III of CVI.

Our Favorite 20 iPad Apps for Kids With CVI

WonderBaby offers a list of 20 free and paid apps for children who have CVI, including apps that encourage looking and touching, as well as apps specifically made for children who have CVI.