The AAC/CVI Matrix is an instrument designed for educational teams and families to match a student’s CVI Range score (by Phase) with their current expressive language levels (based on the Communication Matrix) in order to determine a course of action for selecting and adapting an accessible communication system. Points included in the chart are considerations based on the needs in each area, not strict guidelines. CVI intervention is guided by Phase, but there is no “one size fits all” approach.
Visual adaptations are unique to each student’s needs, based on the impact of CVI Characteristics on visual functioning. Expressive communication intervention is guided by the student’s current levels of expressive/symbolic communication. It is important to consider that language for children with complex communication needs does not always develop in a linear fashion following typical development. Students may have skills that are scattered across different levels and functions of communication, and it may be relevant to consider goals and the use of AAC across more than one level of communication. For example, a student may use unconventional communication behaviors to refuse, while utilizing tangible symbols to request, and may have an emerging use of individual signs or spoken words for social communication.
Students with cortical visual impairment and complex communication needs including those who have additional/multiple disabilities often require the development of individualized, multimodal communication programs to support their expressive communication and access to information and interactions throughout the day. Professionals working with these students require a holistic understanding of communication development and assessment, and knowledge of unique techniques and approaches that apply to this diverse group of students. This session will focus on an overview of CVI adaptations to multi-modal AAC including no-tech, light-tech, and high-tech communication systems. A new resource for supporting teams in developing appropriate communication systems for students with CVI will be shared with participants, The AAC/CVI Matrix (Russell & Willis, 2020).