Call for research

CVI Synergy, a group of researchers, educators, and physicians who work with children diagnosed with CVI met in May 2002 at APH in Louisville, KY and compiled the following list of research needs. Minimal research has been done in the area of CVI, the need continues…. 

Definitions and Identification

  1. Research is needed to determine if there are categories of children with CVI.
  2. Further research is needed to document the ability of parents and caregivers to identify characteristics of CVI in their own children at a very early age.
  3. Specific characteristics need to be defined and used for the diagnosis of CVI.
  4. Research needs to be conducted on the effectiveness of a 10-point interview used by medical personnel to identify children most at risk for CVI.
  5. The differentiation of the characteristics of students who are cortically visually impaired vs. students who are using their vision at their developmental level needs to be clear.
  6. The characteristics and assumptions about CVI need to be documented and challenged.What compensations do children use to make up for CVI disabilities?
  7. The continuum of behaviors needs to be described and characterized.
  8. Tests need to be available on a national basis so that medical professionals can use them to allow infants and preschoolers to meet the requirements for “legal services,” SSI, etc.

Intervention and service delivery strategies

  1. Strategies need to be identified that are effective for older students and individuals with acquired CVI as opposed to infants and preschoolers.
  2. Researchers should investigate intervention options for older children with CVI who were never considered visually impaired and have never received intervention.
  3. Service delivery methods need to be identified along with the criteria for students with CVI.
  4. Research is needed to determine what product characteristics engage visual awareness for children with CVI.
  5. What role does sensory integration play in the development of children with CVI?
  6. Research should target the impact of the larger visual environment and how it affects children with CVI responses (color, light, clutter).
  7. Identify variables and effective strategies that carry over to the home.
  8. What are the characteristics of a good home environment for children with CVI?
  9. Research should investigate the best placement in the public school environment and if inclusion is an option.
  10. Research should investigate strategies to help students with CVI as a result of head trauma maximize/develop literary skills.
  11. What are cautions that interventionists need to heed before visually stimulating medically fragile/CVI children?
  12. What teaching techniques may be harmful to CVI?

Efficacy of CVI intervention

  1. The effectiveness of specific strategies with CVI that have been provided in literature should be investigated.
  2. Research should identify stages of functional vision development in children with CVI.
  3. Research needs to support a continuum of functional vision improvement for children with CVI.
  4. Research should investigate possible outcomes for improvement through intervention.
  5. Research is needed to determine how intervention techniques improve the functional vision of children with CVI.
  6. Research should identify strategies to enhance the development of functional vision.
  7. A longitudinal study of outcomes should be conducted on topics such as employment and academics to compare with other disability groups.
  8. Research should use Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans to document efficacy of intervention.
  9. An investigation should be conducted to prove or disprove the neurological basis for the influence of posture on visual changes.
  10. Research needs to be conducted with regard to the effects of intervention and recovery and the difference between those children who receive intervention and those who don’t.
  11. Research should investigate how much vision can be rehabilitated in children with CVI who are over 3 years old.

Training and public awareness

  1. Research should investigate the effectiveness of retraining and providing in-services that would help VI teachers to effectively work with CVI students.
  2. A survey should be conducted to learn what information training programs provide to teachers and vision care professionals including ophthalmologists and neurologists as strategies to help CVI.
  3. Barriers to diagnosis by ophthalmologists, pediatricians, neurologists should be identified.
  4. Research should be conducted on the effects of public awareness of CVI in doctors’ offices through referrals for intervention.
  5. The ways that CVI students learn should be identified and any differing teaching methods than those used with other VI students should be documented.