Families and Caregivers

CVI and the IFSP/IEP: Expanded Core Curriculum

In school, students with CVI engage with the general education curriculum (reading, math, social studies, science, etc.) no matter the service plan. For students with visual impairments, the general education curriculum does not provide the necessary skills for independent living. The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) provides “those essential independence skills needed for living and working. The ECC should be used as a framework for first assessing students with visual impairments, then for planning individual goals and objectives.”1 The nine ECC areas must be considered in the IEP of a student with CVI.

“The expanded core curriculum provides opportunities for equality for the blind and visually impaired; to NOT teach it is to deny this basic human right.” 2

Phil Hatlen

Renowned leader in the education of children who are blind and visually impaired

Nine Areas of the ECC

1 Compensatory or Functional Academic Skills, Including Communication Modes

2 Orientation and Mobility

3 Social Interaction Skills

4 Independent Living Skills

5 Recreation and Leisure Skills

6 Career Education

7 Use of Assistive Technology

8 Sensory Efficiency Skills

9 Self-determination

Learn More About the ECC

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) For Students With CVI, Ellen Mazel, CVI Teacher Blog

An Introduction to the Expanded Core Curriculum, Paths to Literacy

What is the Expanded Core Curriculum?, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The Expanded Core Curriculum, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (this is an excellent comprehensive resource with links to protocols and assessment tools)

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1Roman-Lantzy, Christine. Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention. 2nd ed., AFB Press, 2018.
2Tietjen, Matt. “Constructing the Visual World.” October 2018. The What’s the Complexity Framework: Designing a Visually Accessible School Day for the Child with CVI. Perkins eLearning Course.

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