When we think about vision, the eyes most likely come to mind. But the things in our view are only one part of the larger process of sight. If visual pathways in the brain have trouble processing information from the eyes, a person may be unable to understand what they are seeing.
This condition, called Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI), is the most common type of visual impairment in kids, and it manifests differently for each child. That means strategies to improve vision and literacy can be as unique as the kids themselves and must therefore be meaningful and engaging in many ways.
This is the challenge that the students in App Team Carolina tackled when they were contacted in 2021 by Anitha Muthukumaran, a teacher of students with visual impairments and a researcher from the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO), and educational accessibility consultant Diane Brauner. As part of Muthukumaran’s externship at UNCO, the two were seeking help to design an app that could give parents and educators a fun, motivating way to help kids with CVI improve their literacy skills.