Kaleidoscope: The Cortical Visual Impairment Podcast

Kaleidoscope: The Cortical Visual Impairment Podcast

Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is the leading cause of pediatric visual impairment in the developed world. The eyes can see, but the brain can't interpret the visual world. Due to neuroplasticity, the functional vision of a child with CVI can improve. The number of children with CVI is growing, so why isn't anyone talking about this public health crisis? We are. Music by Storm Crews. Art by Ian Kleinfeld.


July 25, 2020 57 mins

Cindy Younan, founder of cvijourney.com and mother to Valentina (1.5 years), describes the day during her pregnancy when she found out about her daughter’s complications. There have been highs, lows and personal sacrifices since then, which Cindy has embraced with a positive spirit.

Smiling family of three

We talk about ...

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Kira Brady tells the journey to her son’s diagnoses, which include cerebral palsy (CP), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) and cortical visual impairment (CVI). We marvel at how it can be so difficult to get a diagnosis even when, in hindsight, Mason is considered a “textbook” case.

A boy weari...</p></div> <button class= Read more

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close-up of Barbara and Logan

Barbara Lopez Avila has a PhD in developmental psychology. But she says she still feels ill-prepared to help her son Logan navigate life with cortical visual impairment (CVI).

How can that be? She writes in a recent blog post for the Pe...

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February 17, 2020 13 mins

Grace (8) is a vibrant second grader with lots to say. She describes what it’s like to live with cortical visual impairment – the things that upset her and the special characteristics she relies on day-to-day.

She says, “I’m not afraid to speak up.” And so she does.

Grace smiles

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December 9, 2019 62 mins

Cheyanne Marcy has been an advocate on big stages, on everyday social media platforms and in day-to-day life on behalf of her son, Archer (5). She values action and advocacy – and has navigated not one, not two, but three state education systems.

She writes, “… I learned I was not doing enough to adv...

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Mia Carella of thismomwithablog.com shares wisdom from the head and the heart, which comes from navigating life as a CVI mom / heart mom. (Her daughter Evalyn, 8, has cortical visual impairment and a congenital heart defect.) Mia describes the ups and downs of being a special needs parent and why we should let go of the Super Mom ideal.

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Tommy Szalapski – Google accessibility engineer and CVI dad – has created a new app for CVI literacy. The Roman Word Bubbling project automates the tedious process of adding color outlining to letters, numbers and words, based on Dr. Christine Roman’s CVI literacy research and methodology. Tommy describes this project, Google’s Lookout app and emerging technologies that will benefit people with cortical visual impairment, like his ...

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Rosalie (1.5) has hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain, which comes with the risk of vision problems. She received a cortical visual impairment (CVI) diagnosis from an ophthalmologist who provided her parents with accurate information, for instance:

  • CVI is a brain-based visual impairment,
  • her brain can learn to better understand what she sees as it makes new connections,
  • she needs more time ...
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February 15, 2019 45 mins

When Emma (16) received a cortical visual impairment diagnosis at age four, CVI literature was not widely available. The consensus was “this is just what she has, live with it,” says her mother, Lynn Elko. Her family didn’t know great gains could be made. They didn’t know how to help her learn or meet developmental milestones.

Then Lynn discovered what kids with CVI can accomplish with strategic, appropriate interventions that give...

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January 24, 2019 46 mins

Judy Endicott works with her grandson River (9) on his reading skills, relying on her background as a special educator and continuing education in CVI principles and practices. How does she manage to keep up with his needs, including the countless custom materials he requires to access print? What techniques does she use to motivate him to practice? Judy talks about putting the CVI overlay on River’s reading curriculum.

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December 19, 2018 10 mins

I’m reflecting on 2018. For me, this has been the Year of the CVI Advocate. My life has been transformed by my interactions with fellow CVI parent advocates – online, at conferences and through this podcast.

From Start Seeing CVI Advocacy on Facebook to Boston for the CVI Symposium to Omaha for the American Conference on Pediatric Visual Impairment back to Boston for CVI Family Vacation – and even from my closet here in Raleigh – I...

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Sisters Anna Ault and Lori Kinney are raising daughters with visual impairments. One has cortical visual impairment, the other an ocular visual impairment. We discuss their parallel but unique experiences advocating for CVI and Leber’s congenital amaurosis.

They are raising their kids in the same community – their childhood community, in fact. Their girls are close in age and attend the same public-school system. But as Anna and Lo...

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Opera performance student Dagbjört Andrésdóttir gives us a glimpse into her life with cortical visual impairment, describing music and strong parental support as her saving grace.

“I kind of knew always there was something, but I wasn’t sure if it was my vision or something else,” says Dagbjört.

Three years ago, with the help of her mother, she concluded that CVI was the culprit.

To parents she says, “You know your children better ...

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Krish (6) received an early CVI diagnosis and guidance from a teacher of the visually impaired who knew how to intervene appropriately, based on his CVI Range score. With neuroplasticity and dedicated parents on his side, he’s heading to kindergarten with improved functional vision and a CVI-rich IEP.

Krish holds up two monkey stuffed animals.

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When Alisha Waugh and her husband learned that their son Griffen (10) has a cortical visual impairment (CVI), they committed to improving his functional vision above all else – and with stellar results.

Alisha puts her Perkins-Roman CVI Range Endorsement to work each and every day for Griffen. She is also serving other kids with CVI and their families through her consultancy Fundamentals First.


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Henry (5) has a new cortical visual impairment (CVI) diagnosis. His mom, Rachel, now understands why he is so frustrated. He can't interpret what he sees. Relying on the 10 characteristics of CVI, they infuse vision into everything they do. His vision has improved, and his whole being has too.

Not only has Rachel fully embraced the educational approach based on the research of Dr. Christine Roman, she and a group of other CVI moms ...

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Grace (6) reads sight words, enjoys hearing chapter books and shows an affinity for math. Yet she can’t interpret illustrations in a children’s book or recognize the faces of her mother and father. Her parents on the struggles and joys of raising a child with cortical visual impairment.

Children swinging on Perkins playground Read more

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