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CVI Make and Take Workshop

Try these ideas to hold your own Make and Take Workshop to create books for students with cortical visual impairment.

A fun part of the recent Oregon CVI Conference was a “Make and Take” portion that included producing over 180 CVI adapted books to get out to students with cortical visual impairment in Oregon . The conference was held April 4 – 5, 2019 and 90% of the Teachers of the Visually Impaired in Oregon attended. The Columbia Regional Program Blind and Visually Impaired Team planned, presented, and prepared power points and a plethora of book kits to support our teachers and students in Oregon. Additional examples and ideas were also displayed for literacy for students with CVI and adapting curriculum.

Using a Cricut cutting machine and searching for silhouette images on-line we were able to prepare silhouette figures (excellent for teaching salient features) for books that included Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and an abbreviated version of Dr. Seuss’s One Fish,Two Fish. In seeking to meet some literacy needs of upper grade students we also offered book kits for the Life Cycle of a Frog and Phases of the Moon.

Diane Sheline inspired Three Little Flashlights, One Slinky Bouncing Up and Down, and Three Little Pom Poms that were made into sturdy books on foam core board and bound with black duct tape. Diane Sheline had also created a positional book about a yellow bucket and a red shovel. This was inspiration for a book we created with a yellow bowl and red spoon. The bowl was designed to resemble the yellow bowl in the ToAD Assessment Kit from APH. Teachers could also choose to make a simple alphabet book with red letters in one direction and yellow letters in the opposite direction. We had kits available to make yellow and red large number cards and referred teachers to the salient features of letters chart included in Christine Roman’s Cortical Visual Impairment: Advanced Principles. Kits were available to make weather card sets that we have found to be useful for adapting the daily activities in classrooms with students with CVI.


Making Books with Silhouette Images

Silhouette images can be uploaded into Cricut Design Space and placed on a grid system to be cut by a Cricut cutting machine. The images can be placed so that several can be cut at a time maximizing the use of the paper. We used glitter cardstock or holographic cardstock to cut images.

Silhouette of bear


Black cardstock was used as the base for the pages (except for black sheep).



Colored silhouettes of animals on black pages

Each kit included words for the books that could be omitted, glued in, or glued in with a possible black cardstock cover depending on the student’s complexity level.


One Fish, Two Fish












Science Books for Students in Upper Grades

Phases of the moon


Cover of Life Cycle of a Frog  Eggs  Tadpole with 4 legs


Making Foam Core Books

The foam core books were inspired by Diane Sheline. She has these books in expanded form on her website During a different conference where Diane presented and displayed some of her books, she had bound them with duct tape. The pages with large items could be placed one at a time on each other and bound with the duct tape till the books was complete. This makes for some sturdy books that can handle the real items attached to the pages.

The Yellow Bowl and Red Spoon; Inspired by Diane Sheline's The Red Shovel and Yellow Bucket

Diane’s positional book about a yellow bucket and a red shovel was the inspiration for a book we created with a yellow bowl and red spoon. 

Red spoon over yellow bowl  Red spoon under yellow bowlRed spoon in yellow bowl

Other books inspired by Diane include Three Little FlashlightsOne Slinky Bouncing Up and Down, and Three Little Pom Poms.

Books inspired by Diane Sheline


Pictures Used to Inspire Weather Cards

Weather book kits  Weather images


Alphabet Book

Alphabet Book

Number cards

A heavier black cardstock (100 lb) was used for the number and weather cards.







The first day of the conference participants also made an occluder that can be adjusted to isolate or minimize a picture or words in a book to decrease complexity. The occluder was designed by Claudia Swapp with in-put from Saaron Putnam-Almauger and Scott Wall. They were created using black plastic folders and brads colored black with a sharpie.  Learn how to make your own occluder.

Occluders  Picture book with busy illustration  Illustration with occluder  Occluder with smaller portion visible



Frugal Literacy

There was also a short workshop on thrifty ways to create literacy materials for students including using laminate samples and paint chips from hardware stores to create sequencing activities, sources for notebooks and plastic canvas to create books, and an egg carton and other materials to create number identification.

Book with colored shapes  Examples of literacy materials that are inexpensive to make



Creating inexpensive canvas books:

Get a small used black notebook at a second hand store (mine was $.25), add the black needlepoint canvas and you have a book like those in the APH CVI Book Builder Kit. This is also a good source to make your own additional pages.

Take a simple egg carton…

Spray paint it black and then slit the points that stick up with an exacto knife. Stick cards in the slits and use the sections to hold items such as these clear plastic eggs with finger flashlights inside.

Egg carton  Three red lighted eggs with the number 3


Children’s Books in the Goodwill bins in Oregon are only $.39 each! These two books came to a total of $.78. With some black cardstock, scissors, and glue I have some adapted books to talk about favorite character salient features.

    Clifford and Elmo booksClifford and Elmo books adaptedElmo and Clifford adapted books

Read more about the conference.

Collage of CVI Make and Take

Grey glove and yellow page
Tips and guides

Object Books by Millie Smith

The cover of a work book with the name "Henrique" on it in both print and braille

Tactile and Braille Adaptations of School Books – The National Geographic Learning Program

A young child looking at lights
Tips and guides

The Role of the TVI in Early Literacy Instruction for Students with Visual Impairments