Children who are just beginning to use their vision (Phase I) and even children who visually function in Phase II of the CVI Range, benefit from having a contrasting color behind the visual target of interest. There are many ways to accomplish color contrast, but usually having a black background works best as this makes a single colored target (especially red or yellow) really POP. One could use a black sheet, a black board or wall or portable devices such as the Velcro Compatible Tri-fold Board.
To make the Velcro Compatible Tri-fold, you will need the following;
2 sheets, 20″ X 30″ black, foam board, black headliner fabric (get it at Joann’s Fabrics), Tacky Fabric Glue, scissors, tape measure, black Duck Tape, utility blade, cutting board.
Start by cutting one board in half, so that it is 20″ X 15″.
Next, using the black Duck Tape, create a “hinge”, attaching the two smaller pieces on to each end of the larger piece.
Next, spread Tacky Fabric Glue all over one side of the tri-fold board. Using a popsicle stick, or something similar, helps to spread the glue evenly.
Then, lay down the Velcro compatible fabric on top of the glue ready board.
Trim off the excess fabric.
Wrap the edges with black Duck Tape, if desired.
To make a pole to suspend across the U shaped board, you will need the following;
A length of white PVC pipe (3/4th inch in diameter), two end caps, black (matte finish, not glossy) spray paint, a dremel type drill, a retractable badge holder reel (black is preferable – I used pink so it would show up in the photos), a glue gun, a PVC pipe cutter tool, blue hot glue (for PVC pipe gluing), and self stick Velcro.
First, cut the PVC pipe the length you want your pole (I generally cut it so that it will reach across the width of the U shaped tri-fold board I have developed for the student). Next, spray paint the white PVC pipe and the white end caps, black.
Affix the end caps to the ends of the PVC pipe with hot glue. Affix the self-stick Velcro to the ends of the caps and reinforce the hold for the edges with a bead of hot glue.
Use the dremel to cut three small holes, equal-distance across the pole (or wherever you prefer them for the needs of your student). These holes should be big enough to allow you to slide in the clip which is on the retractable badge holder.
Clip in the retractable badge holder into the dremel-cut hole.
Suspend the visual target from the badge holder’s snap part. The Tri-fold Board can be placed on a desk or tray or in front of a toddler seat.
Another way to attach pictures and other light weight visual targets to the Velcro Compatible Tri-fold Board is to attach self-stick Velcro to one side of a black clothes pin. You can either purchase the clothes pins in black (at Michael’s they come in various sizes) or spray paint your own clothes pins in a flat black.
Stick the cloths pin onto the Tri-fold Board and then clip on pictures or objects. These are easy to move around (to place objects in different places depending on the needs of the student) or take off the board all together.
The finished project. This board can be cut and designed for specific needs. For example, if your student has a tray that fits on their wheelchair, a board can be designed to fit specifically for the size of that tray. Attach it to the tray with self-stick Velcro.