For her doctoral research, to help meet the needs of children with CVI, our presenter Dr. Nicola McDowell proposed a practice framework that can be used within an education or rehabilitation context. Nicola’s framework was based on her experience of developing a successful rehabilitation programme to improve her own visual and overall functioning, following a late CVI diagnosis. Nicola identified three main components that led to her improvements, including: developing an individual CVI profile, creating an individualised programme, and empowerment through increasing knowledge and understanding of her condition. Her research on each component of the framework, and on the framework as a whole, showed that it may be an effective approach for supporting children with CVI.
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Nicola McDowell, Ph.D. is a lecturer in Specialist Teaching in the Institute of Education at Massey University, New Zealand. Nicola acquired CVI as a result of a brain injury as a teenager and is using her own experience to help improve life for children with CVI around the world. In 2020 she completed a PhD where she focused on developing a practice framework for supporting children with CVI.