Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Books for Students in Different CVI Phases

Duck and ladybug
Using information obtained from Christine Roman-Lantzy’s book, Cortical Visual Impairment, An Approach to Assessment and Intervention, these books are designed to help bring literacy to students who are diagnosed with or demonstrating the characteristics of CVI. 
It is important to remember that when introducing new information to a student, it is usually best to go back down a Phase level. Ex: student is functioning at Phase III but when a new math concept is introduced, ensure that the materials are presented in a Phase II format for ease of visually attending and learning.

Phase I – Building visual behavior

  • Red balloonObjects viewed are generally a single color, have movement or are reflective
  • Prolonged periods of visual latency
  • Distinct field dependency
  • May respond only in strictly controlled environments; does not attend to faces
  • Overly attentive to lights
  • Visually attends in near space only
  • Latent or no response to touch or visual threat
  • Resistant to novel objects
  • Look and touch occur as separate functions

Phase 2 book with geometric shapes

Phase II – Integrating vision with function

  • Objects may have 2 or 3 colors and movement may continue to be an important face to initiate visual attention
  • Latency only when student is tired, stressed or overstimulated
  • Field preferences decreasing
  • May tolerate low levels of familiar background noise; may regard a face without the voice
  • Light is no longer a distractor
  • Visual attention may reach a distance of up to 6 feet
  • More consistent response to touch and visual threat
  • Begin visual time with familiar objects but can move to novel ones
  • Look and touch occur simultaneous with familiar objects

Phase III – Resolution of CVI characteristics

  • Book for student in Phase 3More colors recognized and familiar patterns
  • Movement not required to gain visual attention
  • Latency rarely present or resolved
  • Visual fields unrestricted
  • Competing auditory stimuli tolerated during period of viewing; student may now maintain visual attention on musical toys
  • Smiles and regards familiar and unfamiliar faces
  • Visual attention extends up to 10 – 20 feet
  • Visual reflexes consistently present
  • Selection of objects not restricted
  • Look and touch occur in rapid sequence or together.


Sample Books Created for Students with CVI

Books that were created were done so with specific students in mind. However, the books, or at least the idea behind them, may be used with other students. You will need to assess your student and determine which books and modifications will be most appropriate.  These were printed at the GPAEA Print Shop in Ottumwa, using card stock for the paper so that the pages are durable and the images on the reverse side are not easily seen through the paper. A coil binding is used as a binder. 
An extra copy of each book that was provided to a student at school was made and sent home with the student. This provides reading material the family can use at home that will benefit the child.

Sample Books

My Happy Birthday Party – Simple pictures, mostly 1 to a page; the color used in this book is mainly red. The words are opposite the page with the picture and can be folded back so they are not seen by the student.
cover of My Happy Birthday Party book       two pages, one with text and the other with a red balloon
My Shape and Color Book – No words in this book, only different shapes with color combinations.  This book may also be used in a higher Phase level to determine color preference, shape recognition, determine field preference, positional concepts, assessment of visual tracking on the page and counting.
book cover with title My Shape and Color Book        three red triangles in a spiralbound book       six blue circles
Bill the Duck and the Ladybug – Simple story of Bill watching a Ladybug move around the page; can also be used to learn/reinforce positional concepts. Words are on opposite side of the page from the pictures to limit visual clutter.
cover a book titled Bill the Duck and the Ladybug        two pages, one with text and the other with a yellow duck
Circle and Red Triangle – Simple story of a yellow circle and a red triangle who like to play together. Words are on the same side of the page as the pictures, but these can be moved to the opposite page if desired. Concepts of top, bottom and sides of page can be incorporated.
book cover with the title Circle and Triangle       a yellow circle with text above it       a yellow circle and red triangle with text above


These books incorporate words on the page with the pictures. Once these books are familiar to students, many of them are paired with objects that represent the pictures in the book. This seems to help students understand how pictures represent real objects. Books to consider:
The Body Book – This uses simple shapes to create a ‘stick’ body. An extra copy of the last page of the book can be made, then cut out the shapes and use as a puzzle to build the body. Place a blank sheet as a final page and an envelope can be glued to it to hold the puzzle pieces. 
a book cover with the title The Body Book       a yellow circle and four rectangles with text        various shapes placed in the shape of a human body
Bill the Duck and the Ladybug – Bill makes a re-appearance in the same story but the words are on the same side as the pictures. A plastic duck and ladybug are paired with this story. 
a book cover with the title Bill the Duck and the Ladybug       a picture of a duck and a ladybug with text
Playful and Colorful Kittens – What is more fun than kittens? Most pages have one kitten playing with a ball of yarn; each kitten and yarn ball are in a different color. The student this was created for has a love of kittens so the subject matter really attracts her visual attention.  Soft, stuffed kittens, along with a ball of yarn, are paired with this story.
a book cover with a picture of a kitten and the title Playful Kittens       a cat with text above it
Where is the Ball? – This is a version of “Where’s Waldo?” except it is MUCH simpler. It begins with one picture plus the ball and advances to multiple pictures with the ball. This book may provide ongoing assessment of how many objects a student is able to visually attend to at once. Having the student place a small red ball on the picture of the ball when he/she locates it incorporates vision and touch.
cover for book titled Where is the ball?        two green pine trees with a red ball between them        a green sofa, a small rug, and a red ball


These books incorporate more background information but the primary focus remains on the subject.

Curious Christmas Kitty – This was created for the student who loves kittens so it could be incorporated into the Christmas readings at her school. Simple story of one little kitten and her Christmas adventure. It allows the book to be customized with the student’s name on the stocking. Using the interest of this student has encouraged her visual attention with more complexity, for longer periods of time.
book cover with image of a cat and title Curious Christmas Kitty       a cat playing with a ball with text        a red stocking and two presents with text
All About Popcorn – This was created to be used by a student whose class was reading a book about the same subject but it was too busy for the student to attend to visually. More advanced story line, with more words on each page. This book increases the amount of story line; using questions at the end can help determine comprehension of the student. Send one home and the family can read it together then pop some popcorn to enjoy.
cover of book with a picture of a bowl of popcorn and the title All About Popcorn       an ear of corn with a kernel labeled and explanatory text
Finding Pyper – This is a book created for a student to practice recognizing the letters of her name. It has much more background but the letter is large and separated, allowing her to practice her visual skills while locating her letters and name.
a cover of a book with the title Finding Pyper       the letter P with a green background and grass on the bottom of the page       the letter P on a beach and palm trees       the name Pyper in the sky above a field with flowers and butterflies
Collage of making your own CVI books



Posted by Claudia Archard

Phase 1 Books

Posted by Tracy Fitch

Making books

Posted by Heidi Basford K...

CVI books

Posted by Susan Sullivan


Posted by Susan Sullivan

Purchasing Info

Posted by Joanna Credeur

CVI books

Posted by Michelle Frank

Books for Children with CVI

Posted by Claire OConnor

Power point books

Posted by ssullivan

Posted on February 6, 2017
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Books for Students in Different CVI Phases

ssullivan commented on March 28, 2018
I have used power point books with students where you can upload photos of a child's preferred object and make a story around that. In these types of books you can move the photo object into different places on the page each time.
I am sorry I do not know of an app that does what you have mentioned.
Claire OConnor commented on March 27, 2018

A consultant had recommended that my child use books on the iPad, especially ones that you can drag the character onto the next page. Does any one know a book or app that does this? Thank you so much

Deena Recker commented on February 13, 2017

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for your input. These particular books were created for specific students who have their own unique needs. The idea that I had was to share them with others and the idea behind the books could then be tweaked to the needs of other students.

Great success to you as you work with students.


Deena Recker commented on February 13, 2017

Hi Joanna,

These books are not for sale at this time. The PDF for each is available in the blog and can be printed.

Thanks for asking. Deena

Michelle Frank commented on February 11, 2017

Based on the samples, I'm concerned about the content. The samples are not phonetically controlled, so even though the picture content is appropriate, the literacy level may not be. In addition, I like to use very large font as a default for all of my CVI students.

Tracy Fitch commented on February 11, 2017

Your books are awesome! I do want to point out that the books you have listed for Phase 1 are really more for Phase 2, as students in Phase 1 cannot yet see 2-dimensional pictures. In Phase 1 you will need to still use 3-D single color objects. In the early stages of introducing your more simplistic books you may want to incorporate matching the 3-D object to the 2-picture in the book. You may also want to consider using a darker color background (like black) at least with the earlier books.

Thanks for sharing!


Joanna Credeur commented on February 11, 2017

Are your books available for purchase? Could you provide pricing and purchasing info? Thanks!

Susan Sullivan commented on February 10, 2017

Hope you consider submitting. Here is the link to the informational page which then has a link to the actual form to submit.
thank you,

Deena Recker commented on February 10, 2017

Hi Susan,

I would be open to considering this option. Thanks for asking. :)


Susan Sullivan commented on February 10, 2017

Hi Deena, Would you be interested in submitting your books as a product from APH?
If so, I can guide you to next steps.
Thanks for your work!

Deena Recker commented on February 9, 2017

Hi Heidi,

I did not laminate the pages due to the glare issue. The print shop has thick paper, card stock, which was used to provide more durability to the books which also prevents the images from being seen through the pages.

Hope that helps and that you have good success!


Heidi Basford K... commented on February 9, 2017

Did you laminate the pages and what did you use to minimize glare? Any wisdom would be most appreciated.

Deena Recker commented on February 7, 2017

Hi Claudia,

I used iClipart for Schools. There are many others that can be used, this is the one that I had available. Best of success to you!

Claudia Archard commented on February 7, 2017

What kind of picture software do you use? by any chance do you use boardmaker?