What are 5 CVI Teacher Materials that I Need for my Classroom?
Did you get a new student with CVI this school year? Do your incoming students for the next school year have cortical visual impairment? If you answered yes to either of these questions, I am here to recommend 5 CVI teacher materials you need in your classroom! I have included links in this post to make shopping easier for you. These links are all non-affiliate links.
Black Trifold Board
The CVI-friendly material that I always recommend is a black trifold board. This board is perfect to put on the back of student desks or work areas to minimize distractions in the background. Putting this board in place guarantees that the background of the child’s direct work area isn’t changing. For example, you might change bulletin boards or posters in your room, or a student’s work location in the classroom might change. However, by using this solid black background for students, their work area is predictable.
Another favorite CVI teacher material I recommend having in your classroom is a black felt board. I actually recommend having multiple felt boards in your classroom! These felt boards provide an instant distraction-free background for students with cortical visual impairment. For example, if you are teaching a small group and students are answering reading comprehension questions using pictures, these pictures can quickly be placed on the black felt board to minimize visual complexity for the student answering the question. BONUS: Hook fasteners attach perfectly to felt boards!
What other CVI Teacher Materials Do I Need to Own?
We all know that laminating materials is a must in classrooms. Unfortunately, regular lamination gives off a glare, which can be very distracting to students with CVI. If you need to laminate materials for your students with CVI, I recommend using matte lamination. Matte lamination provides glare-free materials for students with visual impairments.
My next recommendation is pricier than the other materials I am suggesting, however, a light table can be a game-changer for students with CVI. You can find light tables or tablets for a variety of prices, however, this LED tablet is my favorite. It is portable and since it sits on the student’s desk or table, you don’t have to worry about a student outgrowing it, like you do with some light tables. Light tables or tablets provide the background light that many students with CVI benefit from. Because the materials the student is engaging with are placed on the light surface, the table can help hold a student’s attention.
My last recommendation of must-have supplies is a slant board. Now, just like the light table, there are so many choices out there of varying costs. The slant board that I love is linked above. I love this one because it has a clip that allows you to attach materials to it. Also, the flat part of the slant board can be used to stand up the board in a different way. I actually love using the slant board this way, because it brings the materials right into the student’s line of vision. Here’s a secret, if you stand up the slant board, and clip laminated materials to the slant board, they don’t bend down or fall off!
Before you go and purchase any of these materials, check with your TVI in the district. Some similar materials are often available to students with visual impairments free of cost. However, if certain materials are unavailable to you or the student, I recommend starting to build your CVI teacher toolkit with the materials above.
Also, if you are looking to trial CVI-friendly materials in your classroom, check out this CVI Centers Sampler for FREE!