It is early May 2023 and the end of another school year. I have been giving a lot of thought to the school support initiatives offered by Pediatric VIEW and what we have attempted so far. Our goal of course, is to provide assistance to school teams on behalf of students who have CVI and to customize the work we do to match the educational/CVI needs identified by parents, school professionals, and the child themself. We hope to collaborate and find better solutions together rather than impose a particular method on an established program. Our focus is excellence in education for students who have CVI and though it can be an effortful process, we believe that the experience and expertise reflected in the providers at Pediatric VIEW can help support the activities that are successful while also offering suggestions for improved access and effective instruction.
Individuals with CVI require a comprehensive and intentional approach to learning, social development, therapies, and self-determination. I recently had the opportunity to send time at The Bridge School in Hillsborough, California. This educational setting was not always distinguished for expertise in CVI but rather, for AAC, upright mobility, and integrated approaches to learning. Since 2012, they have afforded me the opportunity to work side by side with them as they added the important principles of CVI to their already superb, child centered education. Over the years, knowledge and skill associated with environments, materials, and methods for CVI have deepened and become refined. It was not an overnight change but a commitment to constant improvement that mattered.
The real lesson for me at The Bridge School is that excellence in CVI programming is more than possible, it is a mandate. It can be achieved. It must be achieved. The Bridge School is of course, special. But I would challenge all of us to recognize that meaningful, effective, accessible education is achieved when there is a belief in the innate ability of all children regardless of the complexity of their needs. That knowledge of the principles of CVI is not an occasional therapy, but an all-day obligation owed to every baby, child, adolescent, and adult we are honored to support. The school support service offered by Pediatric VIEW will endeavor to help school teams progress toward the goal of excellence in education for their students who have CVI. We look forward to listening and learning.
Christine Roman-Lantzy, Ph.D.