Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

The iPad & Students with Visual and Multiple Disabilities: Apps for Kids with CVI

The iPad can be a great tool to help kids with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI).  Specific apps can be used to encourage visual attention and visual motor skills, whereas other apps can be used to help develop visual motor integration and fine motor skills.  There are so many apps that fall into this category - it is hard to keep up with all of them.  Here are a few basic CVI related apps to get you started!

1.  Mount the iPad so it’s in the student’s preferred/best visual field.

Student with a visual impairment and other disabilities using an iPad


Be sure to turn off multitasking gestures as well. See my previous blog post about how to do both of these things. 




2.  Apps designed specifically for kids with CVI

Little Bear Sees (in conjunction with Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind) is making apps just for kids with CVI.  Their first one, called Tap-n-See Zoo is a cause-and-effect app.  Different single colored animals move on the screen.  When the student touches it, a sound plays and it grows larger.  With the paid version, you can control the color, size, and speed of the moving animal.  Multiple finger taps are OK.  It is currently $1.99.  The same company makes a more complicated app called “My Talking Picture Board”.  This one is pricey for an app (currently $19.99), but allows you to upload photos or images and custom-make photo arrays with reward actions and increased visual complexity over time.  I haven’t used this one, so I’d love to hear comments from anyone who has used “My Talking Picture Board”.

Tap-n-See NowMy Talking Picture Board

3.  Apps to encourage Visual Attention

Most apps designed for “babies” fall into this category.  Ones with a black background that I like are:  Cause and Effect Sensory Light Box by Cognable;  I Love Fireworks (Lite and Full) by Fireworks Games; and Doodle Kids by Virtual GS (this one has no sound).

Sensory Light Box appI Love FireworksDoodle kids


4.  Apps to encourage looking and basic touching

There are plenty of simple cause-and-effect apps that do something when you touch the screen, such as Random Touch by Joe Scrivens and Sound Shaker by Tickle Tap Apps.

Random TouchSound Shaker


5.  Apps to encourage refined visual-motor integration (VMI) skills

There are some fabulous apps that will help kids develop the VMI skills needed to directly access most other apps.  Peekaboo Barn HD (see image) by Night & Day Studios starts working on targeting, but in a very beginner way.  The user can multi-finger tap, but must target a barn approximately 3 inches squared in size.  It is visually simple, and the barn wiggles to help.  Peeping Musicians, by Inclusive Technology, requires targeting with a single finger on a smaller 1 inch area.  Touching the musician that is “hiding” partially off screen makes different songs play.  The background is black and this app, while not designed for kids with CVI, has great applications with this population.

Peekaboo Barn AppPeeping Musicians



Pinterest collage of apps for kids with CVI



Another good app

Posted by Keith B

Link to Light Tap app

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Light Tap +

Posted by Faye Gonzalez

One of my colleagues has a

Posted by iPad Apps

Other apps for children with cvi

Posted by Rita T

Posted on January 24, 2013
Updated on: January 25, 2018

Previous comments for The iPad & Students with Visual and Multiple Disabilities: Apps for Kids with CVI

Rita T commented on July 12, 2016

I have a student with CVI CP and deaf...he loves these apps:

  • Sparkabilities Babies 2: background grows more complex furthuring visual discrimation--about $5
  • Dot Collector: game for motion tracking and dexterity--t2.99
  • Injini--this has several activities his favorite is Tracing. Teaches pre-writing skills has motion to keep his focus. Cost is $29.99
fayegonzalez commented on May 13, 2013

While I dodn't use TV based apps at school, families do sometimes at home.  A good one to recommend for families is the PBS Kids app.  However, the voice over access for this app is not very user friendly. 

iPad Apps commented on March 31, 2013

One of my colleagues has a child with Cerebellar Palsy, I will definitely share with her regarding this app. I think It works well as it can stimulate the motor centre and at last improvement will come.

Faye Gonzalez commented on January 28, 2013

I just downloaded Light Tap + to try it. It is a great game - and it actually is a GAME with points, which would appeal to kids with CVI that can understand that concept. It does require targeting on an approximately 1" diameter circle. You must lift up your finger and tap on it (more than one finger OK). I liked Classic mode, where the circle to target remains in the same place until the user touches it. It has a black background and single-colored circles. Great idea, I haven't heard of that app. Thanks!

Charlotte@Perkins commented on January 28, 2013

Thank you for the suggestion, Keith!  If you want to check it out, here's the link:

Keith B commented on January 28, 2013

You should check out Light Tap+

It's like a very basic whack-a-mole and you can alter the settings to make it easy or harder. The developer (Graham Chance) was extremely receptive when I requested a couple of changes to make the game suitable for people with CVI.