CVI Scotland

This website is designed to be owned by everyone affected by CVI. At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together to work toward starting to master this complicated spectrum of conditions. To increase our understanding of how CVI affects people we regularly engage with parents and those affected by CVI. On this website we share what we’ve learned and we are clear that our main source is made up of first-hand accounts from parents and those affected, while our team, including many professionals, provides guidance throughout (see Meet The Team). CVI is essentially a spectrum of patterns. Each affected person has their own unique experience of how they see and how this can affect them. Throughout our brains there are multiple parts that determine how we see and engage with our visual worlds. For the person with CVI, some, or many of these parts do not work in the same way as for others, creating an alternative visual world for that person. It is not possible to ‘see’ someone else’s world, but with guidance we are aiming to understand their world from their perspective. In this way we can help to make sure that everyone affected gets the best chances in life. Our website has over six hundred pages, so if you are new to CVI Scotland we strongly recommend you take our 2 minute tour. In the section What Is CVI we explain the different CVIs and then show you how to interpret the actions and behaviours of the person with CVI, followed by giving many suggestions to match the support given to the difficulties being experienced. This approach is different to traditional visual assessments. Rather than focusing on what the people with CVI don’t see (which alone can be of limited value) we encourage you instead to also focus on recognising what they do see, and what this tells you about their visual world, and how this can affect their behaviours in different situations. The information has been written by our team, including parents and people with CVI, and multiple professionals including ophthalmologists (eye surgeons), scientists, education academics and highly experienced specialist teachers of the visually impaired. We include many first-hand accounts from both people who have CVI, and the parents of children with CVI – these are our true experts and we are enormously grateful for their input. As part of CVI Scotland’s ongoing development, we continue to engage with the CVI community and look to share more experiences, and in turn learn more about this complex and often misunderstood condition. The information on this website aims to explain and supplement information provided by professional assessments. It is designed to help readers understand and think about the nature of CVI from a daily living point of view. The aim is to explain what everyone needs to know, so that instead of being a mystery, the way affected people see and their behavioural responses to their vision become common sense, so that approaches that families have found helpful become obvious, easy to adopt and part of everyday life. The information is not in any way meant to be an alternative to professional assessments. Instead, it aims to help all those affected by CVI, including parents & carers, and professionals in supporting roles, to understand, in depth, the vision of the people they look after, its impact on daily living, to work out how best to help and look after them The optimal environment for the person with CVI is one where those closest to them, particularly the parents, friends and carers, have a confident understanding of their visual world.