Using the You Doodle App to Create CVI Accessible Images

When students with CVI move into Phase 2 they begin to recognize images in 2-dimensional. To help these students continue to progress from Phase 2 to Phase 3 you will need to provide specific strategies to aid in their recognition and interpretation of the 2-D images. 

The complexity of pictures in books or throughout their environment and world is often too much for students with CVI to interpret and they are unable to focus on specific details represented. 

Simplifying the pictures by pulling out specific details and presenting them on a solid color background can aid in their identification of the most important details. 

This is now made easier with apps like You Doodle. The no add version is only $2.99. 

There are several ways to use this app. 

Option 1

The first is by locating a picture online that you would like to use. Perhaps the student is going to watch the movie "Finding Dory" or will be reading a book about these characters. Perhaps their favorite stuffed animal is a Dory doll and you would like to help them make the connection between the 3-Dimensional stuffed animal and the 2-Dimensional image of Dory. 

You can follow these steps outlined below (screenshots included): 

Locate image or character needed online by searching on Google and choosing "images". 

Screenshot of available Finding Dory images during a  Google Internet search.

Choose an image that shows as much of the character as possible.

 Image of Dory and another fish with underwater background.

You can either save the image or just take a screen shot of the image by hitting the home button and power button at the same time.

Screenshot of iPad Home screen with You Doodle app logo.

Open the You Doodle app and choose File in top right corner – Import - Edit a Photo – Camera Roll – Then choose picture from camera roll that pops up – Hit Done in top right corner.    

 Screenshot of You Doodle App with the drop-down menu File > Import displayed     Screenshot of You Doodle App with pop-up menu Edit a Photo option.         Screenshot of You Doodle with popup menu and Camera Roll option.     Screenshot of Photos app displaying All Photos page.                                                                                           

Screenshot of Finding Dory picture in You Doodle app.                                                                                                                                                       

You may want to enlarge the image to work with it by doing a "pinch to zoom" - when zoomed in, you will need to move around using two fingers. 

Zoomed photo of Dory.

Click on the "Scissors" option in the toolbar at the bottom.

You may also want to use a stylus for this for more control – carefully trace around the image or character – as you do so a circle will pop up magnified as you trace around the image.

Screenshot of You Doodle App displaying Dory with a hand-traced yellow outline.

 Screenshot of You Doodle app with Scissors tool activated and magnifying circle displayed traced outline.

 Make sure your trace line connects fully.

Once finished tracing – tap anywhere outside the image – a menu will pop up – choose "Trim".

Screenshot of You Doodle app with popup Trim menu.     

Now, you will add the solid background – choose "Fill" from the toolbar at the bottom.

Screenshot of You Doodle app of Dory with blank background and tool bar at the bottom of the page.

Tapping "Fill" a second time will pull up the menu where you can choose the background color – I recommend using black as default. 

Screenshot of You Doodle app with Drawing Tools page and black selected.

Tap the background around the image and it will fill with the desired color.

Screenshot of You Doodle app with Dory on a solid black background.

Choose File again and save.

You can present the image to the student either on the Ipad, especially if light is still a factor in gaining their visual attention or by printing as a photo.

Option 2 

Another option if unable to locate the image online is by taking a picture of the desired image. 

I like to use this book, Tracy's Mess (a gift from my mother) as an example of how difficult complexity can be. This is a book where even the isolated images are difficult. But, you may want to look at the book and select specific items that you believe will be easiest for the student. 

Screenshot of book cover with visual clutter: Trac.y's Mess by Elise Petersen

Screenshot of a page in Tracy's Mess book; floor is covered with toys, including a blue pickup truck.

In this case I chose the "blue truck". 

Take a picture with your phone or ipad of the page.   

Screenshot of Blue Truck on solid black background.

Then follow the same steps from Option 1 to import the image and cut around the image. 

Visual Anchor

CVI students often benefit, especially in Phase 2, from what is called a visual anchor. This provides the student with an outline in one of their preferred colors to aid in the attention to the image. 

You can also use You Doodle to "outline" the pictures, letters and words with the "glow" option. 

Choose the brush or pen option and tap a second time to pull up the menu.

Screenshot of You Doodle App, Drawing Tools work only on foreground page

For pictures, choose the same FILL color and GLOW color. The GLOW option will literally have a vibrant glowing effect. You can play around with it to see how much you want to use. 

Maximum Glow

Screenshot of You Doodle App displaying blue truck with maximum yellow glow outline on black background

Less Glow

Screenshot of You Doodle app with blue truck with less Glow yellow outline on black background.

For letters and words, choose black as your FILL color and another color as your GLOW color. 

screenshot of You Doodle app displaying Drawing Tools work on the Foreground page. Black fill color and Red Glow color are selected.

Screenshot of You Doodle App with hand drawn word, "Tracy" in black with red glow outline.

There are so many ways you can get creative using the You Doodle App.

I hope this information helps you make accessible materials for your CVI students!

Collage of You Doodle App


Posted by Tracy Wilks Dec 21, 2017

This tutorial is fabulous! Thank you!

Posted by Hope PardeeJan 04, 2018

Will definitely be using this app and following your directions. Thanks for making this so easy to follow by embedding screen-shots into this great article. I will be sure to pass this along to other students in my TVI program at UMASS Boston, and with the parents I know of children with CVI in Connecticut.
Please continue to share!

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