Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Beginning Books for Children with CVI

Colored stars on black background
Children with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment) usually respond best to materials that are simple and not overly cluttered or visually complex. This book uses a single shape (stars) with slight variations in color, placement, and number.  The hope is that by reducing the complexity that children with CVI will look for a longer period of time and will show greater interest in books.
Red star on black paperGold star on black paper
Two red stars on black paperTwo gold stars on black paper


  • black construction paper to create pages of book
  • puff paint
  • shiny paper of different colors
  • spiral binding
  • scissors
  • glue


  • Before creating a book, observe how the child uses his or her vision, and determine which colors are prefered.
  • Place one star of the preferred color on the first page of the book and make each page slightly more complex, by changing the color of the star, changing where it appears on the page, and changing the number of stars shown.
  • Ask the child to point to the star and note whether or not he appears to be looking at it.


  • There are many variations that can be made, with different shapes, different numbers of items, different colors, etc.
  • As the student becomes familiar with this book, introduce slightly more complex books.
  • Add words in print and braille.

Collage of CVI books



Common Core and Braille Standards


RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.


Need tips on cvi

Posted by anusha s

Tips for Working with Children with CVI

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Posted on October 10, 2012
Updated on: March 28, 2018

Previous comments for Beginning Books for Children with CVI

Charlotte Cushman commented on October 17, 2016

Hello Anusha,

Thank you for contacting us about ideas for your son.  There are a number of factors to consider when determining appropriate activities for a child with CVI, such as:

  • How old is he?
  • Does he have other disabilities?
  • How does he use his vision?

Many people use the CVI Range, which was developed by Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, to determine how much functional vision a child with CVI has.  You can learn more about this assessment in the free webcast Cortical Visual Impairment and the Evaluation of Functional Vision  Children who are in Phase 1 will have different visual needs than children who are in Phase 2 or 3, so it is important to try to figure out how much functional vision a child has.

Ideas for the Home

Preferred Color

Does your child have a preferred color, such as red or yellow?  If so, you may wish to choose items in the daily routine that are that color, such as a red cup, a red bowl, a red spoon, a red washcloth, etc.  This will help the child to direct his visual attention on the item.

Visual Complexity

Many children with CVI benefit from a solid color contrasting background, such as a plain black cloth.  This makes it easier to see things than it would be against a patterned background.  You can put a black piece of cloth on the table with the red (or whatever his preferred color is) bowl or cup on it, and this will help him to see it better.

anusha s commented on October 16, 2016

My son is diagnosed with CVI.
Need tips and activities to enhance his vision.