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AAC080101: Children with CVI who require AAC: Issues and Practice Guidelines


This presentation will share results from a scoping survey undertaken in 2019 aimed at identifying gaps between current needs of children with cortical visual impairments who rely on AAC and the current practices afforded them in their schools and communities. We will also share preliminary results from a longitudinal retrospective study of children who have attended The Bridge School from 2012, tracking their trajectories over time and across developmental domains.

Session Content Disclosure: This session focuses on a scoping survey done in 2019 based on children who have attended The Bridge School, which is based in the Bay Area, from 2012-2019. 

Learning Objectives

First Learning Objective: Describe 3 critical problems discovered based on the results of 2019 CVI/AAC scoping survey
Second Learning Objective: Recommend 2 easy-to-access sources that can help improve knowledge and skills of professionals and family members re: CVI and AAC approaches
Third Learning Objective: Identify 3 barriers that are currently interfering with positive outcomes for children with CVI who require AAC. How might you address at least 1 of the barriers.

Primary Strand

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Secondary Strand

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Target Audience

  • AT Specialists
  • Communication Specialist
  • Educators
  • Faculty/Instructors - Higher Education
  • Family Members
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Special Education Educators
  • Teachers of the Visually Impaired
  • Visual Impairment Specialists

Experience Level


Primary Life Cycle Addressed

Birth - PreK; Elementary - Secondary (K-12)

Content Area

Professional Area

Course Schedule

This course was included in the ATIA 2021: AT Connected virtual event education program.

Continuing Education Credits

For Satisfactory Completion and Continuing Education information, please visit: ATIA Online Education CEUs

ASHA CE Information: 
Recorded Session
Start date of ASHA CEUs offering: March 12, 2021

ASHA Continuing Education Approved Provider
This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs. (Intermediate level, Professional area.)

This course is also offered for the following CE Provider Credits:
For: 0.10 CEU Units or 1.0 CEU Hours.

Please refer to the CRC Augmentative and Alternative Communication Series page for further information on how to submit your CRC CEUs for this course to CRCC.


Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D. CCC-SLP

The Bridge School, Principle Investigator


Sarah W. Blackstone, PhD, CCC-SLP received a master’s and Ph.D. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh. Employment history includes the Rehabilitation Hospital of Pittsburgh (1975-80), Chief, Speech-Language Pathology at the Kennedy Institute/Instructor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (1980-85), Project Director, American Speech-Language –Hearing Association (1985-87), President, Augmentative Communication, Inc., (1987-2016); Partner, RERC-AAC ( 2008-2016); PI, AAC/CVI Project (2019-2021); CFO, Listos CA: Disaster Preparedness Campaign, CERV of the Monterey Peninsula. Founding member of USSAAC (United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) and former president/Fellow/recipient of ISAAC’s Distinguished Service Award. Authored Augmentative Communication News and published Alternatively Speaking for 25 years. Other publications include Social Networks: A Communication Inventory for Individuals with CCN and their Communication Partners (2003/2012), available in 11 languages; Patient-Provider Communication: Roles of Speech-Language Pathologists and Other Health Professionals (2016) and CVI/AAC chapter (2019). Board member of The Bridge School for over 20 years. Currently serves as principle investigator on Improving the outcomes of children with cortical visual Impairment (CVI) who rely on (AAC) augmentative and alternative communication. Monterey CERT Zone Captain; Co-chair of USSAAC Disaster Relief Committee, CFO of CA LISTOS grant to CERV of Monterey County, and the Central Coast American Red Cross, Disaster Services Hero, 2017. No financial disclosures to disclose. Non-financial relationship with The Bridge School. On BOD and PI of project funded by Ability Central Philanthropy

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
PI, AAC/CVI Project (2019-2021).   Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: Yes
Published author.  Board member of the Bridge School.  Co-Chair USSAAC Disaster Relief Committee. CFO of CA LISTOS grant to CERV of Monterey County, and the Central Coast American Red Cross, Disaster Services Hero, 2017. On BOD and PI of project funded by Ability Central Philanthropy.

Fei Luo, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

The Bridge School, Co-Investigator, Project Manager


Fei is a research associate and speech-language pathologist at The Bridge School. She has extensive experiences working with children who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems (AAC). She also conducts research on analyzing different discourse genres and face-to-face interactions. Her past projects include examination of narrative production of children with ADHD and analysis of face-to-face interaction between adult AAC users with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and their familiar partners.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Fei Luo receives a salary from The Bridge School.

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: No

Tike DeMarco, M.S.

Transition Support, The Bridge School


Tiké DeMarco is a Transition and Assistive Technology Specialist on The Bridge School Transition team, and she holds The CVI Range Endorsement from the Perkins Institute. Tike works collaboratively with the educational team and her colleague, Chris Toomey, to support inclusion throughout a student’s placement at The Bridge School, along with developing and implementing curriculum that addresses self-determination and independence. Additionally, her role is to support the transition of students from The Bridge School to their home school district and to guide families in the transition process. Transition support for alumni students and their teams is an on-going and collaborative process. 

Tiké is the program coordinator of the Bridging Communities Through Alternative Communication group (BCTAC), an outreach program of The Bridge School whose mission is to raise awareness of individuals who use communication support technologies.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Salary from employment at The Bridge School

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: No

Christine Roman-Lantzy, TVI

Allegheny Health Network, Director, CVI Resources, Pediatric VIEW


Christine Roman Lantzy has Bachelor’s Degrees in Elementary Education, and Visual Impairment. She is a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist and has a Master’s Degree in Medically Fragile, High Risk Infants. Her Ph.D. focused on Cortical Visual Impairment and Infancy.

Christine Roman Lantzy is The Director of Pediatric View in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She was the first CVI Project Leader for The American Printing House for the Blind. Christine provides workshops and consultations through CVI Resources and has had the honor to be invited to all parts of The United States and many countries outside The U.S. She is the author of Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention (2007, 2018) which won The Bledsoe Award in 2008, and Cortical Visual Impairment: Advanced Principles (2019). She taught at The University of Pittsburgh and Marshall University Graduate College for a total of 17 years.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Salary from employment. 

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: Yes
Published author.