Neurological Visual Impairment

10 NVI Characteristics

Color Preference

  • The preference for or ability to only see a specific color
  • Usually a color that has been present in a child's life (what color their favorite toy/object is)
  • Common colors for color preference are red and yellow
  • Preferred color becomes a visual anchor for highlighting information and selecting educational materials
  • The object should be the preferred color, not the background when presenting materials

Need for Movement

  • Visual attention is drawn to items that move
  • Some may not be able to see something until it moves
  • Drawn to objects that have the appearance of movement (mylar, shiny objects)
  • Some individuals move their bodies to create the movement needed to see

Visual Latency

  • A delay between an object's presentation and when it is looked at
  • May increase when ill, stressed, or tired
  • Warm-up activities can help decrease latency
  • Provide verbal information prior to presenting an item and keep silent while waiting for visual attention

Visual field preferences

  • Most often have a preference for a peripheral field (to the side)
  • Most have a lower visual field loss that affects safe travel

Difficulties with visual complexity (4 different areas)

  • Complexity of patterns on the surface of objects
  • May only look at objects of a single color at first
  • Then moving on to 2 colored objects with one of the colors being their preferred color
  • Chosen objects can gradually increase in complexity with more colors and patterns
  • Complexity of visual array
    • May only be able to visually focus on one item at a time
    • Difficulty with clutter
    • Have a single color-black or white background is helpful
  • Complexity of human faces
    • May not be able to look into faces or only familiar faces when they're not talking
    • May appear to look through someone rather than at
  • Complexity of sensory environment
    • Some may only be able to attend to one sense at a time (vision, hearing, tactual)
    • Lowering background noise is always helpful

Need for light

  • Prolonged periods of gazing at natural or artificial light
  • Uses a visually neutral "time out" to rest or use another sense (hearing, touch)
  • Light can be used to draw and keep attention (light box, ipad)

Difficulty with distance viewing

  • Seems to be nearsighted
  • Linked to complexity of array- the closer an object is, the more the background is covered

Atypical visual reflexes

  • Absence or delayed blink reflex when touched on the bridge of the nose
  • Absence or delayed blink to a visual threat coming toward the eyes at midline
  • There is no intervention for this characteristics, it is an indicator of overall visual ability

Difficulty with visual novelty

  • Prefer to view objects that are familiar
  • New objects need to be taught and should have similar characteristics to familiar objects

Absence of visually guided reach

  • May look at an object, then look away while reaching
  • May be able to look and reach with single color object and high contrast, but then not be able to do a visually guided reach with a more complex item on a more complex background

ADA & Accessibility

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Washtenaw ISD is committed to providing a website that is fully accessible and we are currently in the process of developing a new website to better meet the needs of our customers. Our new website will include improvements to ADA compliance and accessibility, and during this transition, we remain committed to maintaining our existing website's accessibility and usability. 

ADA Compliance

Non Discrimination

It is the policy and commitment of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any legally protected characteristic, in its educational programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies in accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, executive order 11246 as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all other pertinent state and Federal regulations.

Non Discrimination Information

ADA and Title IX Coordinator ADA and Title IX Coordinator
Brian Marcel
Associate Superintendent
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1402
Cassandra Harmon-Higgins
Executive Director, HR & Legal Services
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1311