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Profiles of children with cortical visual impairment who use AAC (Blackstone et al., 2022)

online resource
posted on 2022-10-24, 20:26 authored by Sarah Blackstone, Fei Luo, R. Michael Barker, Rose A. Sevcik, MaryAnn Romski, Vicki Casella, Christine Roman-Lantzy

Purpose: Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is the most common cause of visual impairment in children today and can impact the outcomes of children who rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). This study provides baseline data of 13 children with CVI who used AAC during their first year of participation in an integrated CVI program. One purpose was to describe similarities and differences in the student’s demographic, functional vision, communication, and educational profiles. A second purpose was to examine differences in students described with different communicator profiles.

Method: Archived student records were de-identified and reviewed using a systematic coding scheme. Two researchers independently reviewed and coded all student records. Reliability was established. Measures included CVI Range scores; supports for positioning, mobility, vision, and writing; AAC systems, including modes, access methods, and language representation; communicative competence; self-determination; literacy; and mathematics.

Results: The study yielded a rich description of similarities and differences among students at baseline and led to careful consideration of differences among the participants with emergent communicator and context-dependent communicator profiles.

Conclusions: Currently, limited evidence exists that informs practice regarding AAC assessment and intervention for children with CVI. This article describes a small sample of children with CVI who use AAC. Results underscore the need for educators and practitioners to ensure that vision functioning in students with CVI is evaluated carefully and regularly when conducting AAC assessment and intervention and formulating communication or education goals.

Supplemental Material S1. Evaluation protocols used at TBS. List of data collection forms.

Supplemental Material S2. Supports for positioning, mobility, vision, and writing.

Supplemental Material S3. AAC modes.

Supplemental Material S4. AAC access methods.

Supplemental Material S5. Language representation.

Supplemental Material S6. Communicative competence and self-determination.

Supplemental Material S7. Literacy.

Supplemental Material S8. Mathematics.

Blackstone, S., Luo, F., Barker, R. M., Sevcik, R. A., Romski, M., Casella, V., & Roman-Lantzy, C. (2022). Profiles of children with cortical visual impairment who use augmentative and alternative communication: A retrospective examination. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


The data collected for this article were partially funded by Ability Central Philanthropy to The Bridge School (TBS), Hillsborough, CA.