There are many communities and societies set up globally to raise awareness and provide support for those with CVI and their parents and carers.These resources do not replace the need for individual support by appropriate medical and allied health professionals.
As part of your research, you may see the terms Cortical Visual Impairment, Cortical Vision Impairment and Cerebral Visual Impairment and wonder what the difference is. There are many resources available online and as text and it is important to remember that regardless of the term, all learning can be very helpful for your child’s development.
Cerebral visual impairment is the term commonly used in the UK, and you might be familiar with the work of Gordon Dutton in this area. Dutton defines cerebral visual impairment as “deficits of vision and visual perception in children that result from damage to the brain” (Lueck & Dutton, 2015, p. 3). This definition includes injuries that are anatomically outside the cortical region of the brain.
Cortical visual impairment is the term more commonly used in the United States. Christine Roman-Lantzy (2018) who developed the CVI Range assessment tool, uses the term cortical visual impairment to refer to a subset of cerebral visual impairment. Cortical visual impairment is used only when the three elements below are present.
An ocular eye exam that is normal or cannot explain the functional vision impairment;
A history of a significant congenital or acquired brain injury or neurological disorder; and
The presence of unique visual characteristics and behaviours associated with CVI.
In Australia, we use the term vision impairment rather than visual impairment, however they refer to the same thing.
While we are not affiliated in any way with the resources linked below, we have found them useful in understanding more about CVI and hope you do too.