Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Literacy Tips for Children with CVI: Searching for a Salient Feature

Gold sticker
My 3-year-old student who is non-verbal had no interest in any literacy materials when she arrived in preschool due to ocular and cortical visual impairments.  Her preschool provided rich experience based literacy using adapted books matched to her ocular visual needs and matched to her CVI Range Assessment (Roman-Lantzy 2007). Each book had an accompanying storybox with 3D materials to support each non-complex picture.
I wanted to check visual recognition of one 2D image.  I choose the book Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I’m Off to the Moon by Dan Yaccarino. It had a series of images of round pictures.  As a salient feature (Roman-Lantzy) I used a shiny, gold, round sticker. I presented this sticker on a white non-complex background. I knew my student loves the Itsy, Bitsy song. With hand under hand support, each time the sticker was presented we would touch the sticker together and I sang part of her favorite song. 

With her success with pointing to this one sticker, I applied the sticker in different places on each page of the Zoom! book.

Gold sticker on page of book


Gold sticker on page of book

After a week, she was looking at the pages and finding the shiny sticker each time. She would lean closer to reduce the complexity, isolate her index finger, point and look at me and smile. True recognition! With the increasing interest, she really studies all the classroom adapted books and even chooses books during her free time on the mat.


Collage of salient feature

This was reprinted with the author's permission from the CVI Teacher blog.



Salient features on a page that continue

Posted by Jane K Kronheim

Rolling Into Place

Posted by Ellen Mazel

Rolling Into Place

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

​For Ellen and can

Posted by Jane Kronheim

I would like to receive

Posted by Shirley Rodrigu...


Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Posted on July 12, 2016
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Literacy Tips for Children with CVI: Searching for a Salient Feature

Charlotte Cushman commented on July 17, 2017

Hello Shirley,

Can you tell us more specifically about what type of materials you're looking for?  There are many, many ideas on this website for working with students with deafblindness, multiple disabilities and cortical visual impairment.  If there is something special you would like to find, please let us know.


Shirley Rodrigu... commented on July 17, 2017

I would like to receive materials on literacy with people with deafblindness or with multiple deficiency and with visual cortical deficiency

Jane Kronheim commented on July 14, 2016

​For Ellen and can also choose to use a different colored ping pong ball for the ball in Rolling Into Place. I have seen ping pong balls of all different colors. Then add your color Velcro of choice, and voila...another exciting image for the kids to look for and place their hands on as it moves through the book. I have also played a "hide and seek" game in the book, while hiding the glasses, sunglasses, or other "flat" object that can be attached to another page of the accordion folded book. Have the child look for the item, after seeing a picture of it or similar object. "Let's go find it!"

So happy that everyone is enjoying this book. Feel free to share more about that.

Jane Kronheim

Charlotte Cushman commented on July 13, 2016

We love your book Rolling Into Place and we're including the link here for anyone who might not know it.Page from Rolling into Place

Thank you for this suggestion, Jane!

Best wishes,


Ellen Mazel commented on July 13, 2016

Dear Jane,
Thank you so much for reminding me about the literacy material. The 3D ball would indeed be wonderful for my children. For some of my students, I might use some color highlighting for the ball and the path to help them locate and maintain visual gaze. I'm excited to give this a try!

Jane K Kronheim commented on July 13, 2016

When I developed my book "Rolling Into Place", part of the Rolling Right Along Series, with APH, I have noticed how the Velcro ball that moves along the continuous Velcro path, has not only stimulated the children to keep looking and following where the ball goes next, but they keep their hands on the ball to help it move along. This is very important in that the Velcro ball is a real three dimensional object that keeps on giving as the child becomes curious as to where it ends up. IF you have not yet used this book, please try it and let me know how your child as well as others, who experience CVI, are responding. Thank you for your insights.