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Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) - A Primer for Professionals

Course Number

Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is a form of visual impairment caused by a brain injury rather than an issue with the child’s eyes and is the leading cause of visual impairment for children in the United States. This course will assist you in learning the basics of CVI for infants and toddlers. You will also learn how to effectively collaborate with family and WV Birth to Three Team members to support the child’s developing vision.

This course is taught by Dr. Sandra Newcomb.

Dr. Newcomb is a Faculty Affiliate at the University of Maryland, College Park  in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. She has 30+ years of experience teaching infants and toddlers with disabilities, including 13 years providing technical assistance to young children with deaf-blindness, their families and service providers through Connections Beyond Sight and Sound, the MD and DC deaf-blind project. Dr. Newcomb earned her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland in 2009, and holds certification in Early Childhood Special Education and in Visual Impairment, as well as the Perkins/Roman CVI Range Endorsement. Her dissertation topic was assessment of children with CVI. She has had teaching experience in North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia. Her teaching experience includes classroom instruction, early intervention home-based services and private consultation. In addition to her work with children and families, Dr. Newcomb has coordinated a number of grants at the University of Maryland including family support projects and personnel preparation grants in early intervention. Dr. Newcomb is currently in private practices and specializes in deaf-blindness and cortical visual impairment. 


WV Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies

1.1.l. Applies current knowledge and theories about specific developmental delays, developmental disabilities, and risk factors, to advocate on behalf of young children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families

2.3.e. Works with families to include teaching and learning opportunities in natural ways throughout the child’s day

2.3.f. Empowers and coaches families to implement easy-to-use tools and strategies at home that achieve desired outcomes and goals

3.5.a. Works with families to assess and adjust developmental and learning goals to meet the changing needs of the child and family

WV Infant Toddler Mental Health Competencies
Theoretical Foundations - Infant/Very Young Child Development and Behavior
Direct Service Skills - Life Skills

Course Hours
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