The AER Resolution
In July 2018, AER passed Resolution 2018-001. This Resolution included content that potentially limited the use of The CVI Range as an assessment of functional vision in students who have CVI. The following is my response to the Resolution. My statement provides an explanation of my point of view regarding AER’s Resolution 2018-001. The Resolution was removed from AER’s website in September, 2018.
August 24, 2018
To whom it May Concern,
I am enclosing my comments to your Resolution (AER-2018-00). Many of the statements in your document are misleading, incomplete, or inaccurate. I find the purpose of your Resolution very much in question as I have been in the field of visual impairment for 45 years and I have never seen a position such as the one proposed in Resolution 2018-001. Your document specifically targets my work in a number of inaccurate ways. I have edited your Resolution line by line, but I will attempt to describe the largest issues in this letter.
You described The CVI Range as “but one assessment” in your statements that call for TVIs to consider use of multiple other tools to assess the educational needs of young children and students with CVI. The list of additional assessments do not approximate the comprehensive nature of the information derived from the results of The CVI Range. Many of the other instruments cited in the “rationale” (added after the Resolution was passed), are primarily used to test a particular aspect of visual dysfunction rather than a comprehensive profile of functional vision. More troubling, the alternative, additional tools listed in the “rationale” are almost exclusively for individuals with visual perceptual problems or cerebral visual impairment. As Lueck & Dutton describe (2015) & Jan (2011), cortical and cerebral visual impairments are not interchangeable terms. It is inappropriate to describe the use of a test of functional vision for cortical visual impairment with those designed for individuals with cerebral visual impairment. But you do. Perhaps further explanation is necessary.
The CVI Range scores are obtained by information that is systematically gathered through observation of the student in living and learning settings, interview of a parent or caregiver, and a set of specific direct-assessment techniques. The scores are used to describe the degree of effect of the CVI characteristics. The results of The CVI Range can be applied directly to IFSP or IEP content and accommodations necessary to provide visual access throughout the natural routines of the student’s day. No other test for individuals with cortical visual impairment, or cerebral visual impairment for that matter, includes this comprehensive approach.
The CVI Range has supported the educational and functional vision needs of children since at least 2007. Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment & Intervention, was awarded The Bledsoe Award by AER for written material that was recognized as valuable to the field of visual impairment. Is AER now reversing their stand about the importance of the very work they acknowledged as an outstanding contribution to the profession? It is also important to recognize that parents of children with CVI advocate for the use of The CVI Range for one reason. They have found the use of The CVI Range and associated educational approaches effective. If you want to represent the best interests of families and the educators who support children with CVI, you will take the responsibility to revise the Resolution with appropriate corrections.
I cannot fully identify the motivations of the authors of Resolution 2018-001. The underlying message that parents cannot and should not require CVI Range evaluations conveys a meaning that is both confusing and a potential attempt to divert families away from an approach that has supported their children’s access to education successfully. This is especially odd in this era of demands for data driven measures. The only test of functional vision for students with CVI that has been shown to have reliability & validity (Newcomb, 2010), is The CVI Range (the content of the 2018 edition of The CVI Range has not been adapted-only the cover sheet and explanations in the scoring guides have been expanded to provide in-depth explanations of test items).
The Perkins Roman CVI Range Endorsement was created to meet a need in the field ( CVI Range Endorsement letters of support are available upon request). Due to the widespread use of The CVI Range, it became necessary to provide a method for CVI providers to demonstrate their ability to conduct this test with fidelity. The ultimate hope is that university programs will take responsibility to teach the methods associated with The CVI Range at which time, the need for the Perkins Roman CVI Range Endorsement may not be necessary. Until that time, parents and professionals are requesting the assistance of an individual who has demonstrated the ability to score The CVI Range with accuracy. And it is also true that those who obtain the Perkins Roman CVI Range Endorsement are contributing to a body of data illustrating the inter-rater reliability of The CVI Range.
It is clear that Resolution 2018-001 posits that The CVI Range is “but one assessment…CVI”, when in fact it currently is the only comprehensive one which is evidence based and successfully undergone peer review. The misleading statements in the Resolution may potentially have an impact on my professional reputation and on my ability to earn a living in my profession. I require AER, to make corrections in the document in accordance with the point by point notations I added to correct the misinformation in the current document. It is important that you send this notice as well as the revised Resolution to your membership. The corrections must be available in a public forum. Upon your request, I would be happy to share my line by line edits with you. Please know that I offer my assistance in crafting a new Resolution or, in any way that I can contribute on behalf of children, students, and families impacted by CVI.
Christine Roman Lantzy, Ph. D.