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Early Intervention VI

SPEVI Early Intervention VI Community of Practice (EIVI CoP).

When: 4th Thursday of every 2 months.
Open to members and non-members of SPEVI who work in Early Intervention VI or have an interest in the topic.
Organised by SPEVI NZ and SPEVI Inc (Australia).
Co-facilitators:  Bronwen Scott, Sharon Duncan and Lara Anderson.
Contact email:

Next meeting: Thursday 25 July 2024

Time: 3:30 pm Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, 5:30 pm NZ (other times as adjusted).
Convenors: Lara Anderson, Sharon Duncan, Bronwen Scott.

Please register now (required) to put in your calendar.
Registration Link:

Further details will be sent closer to the date.

Meeting dates for 2024

  • Jul 25, 2024, 03:30 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (5.30 pm NZ)
  • Sep 26, 2024, 03:30 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (5.30 pm NZ)
  • Nov 28, 2024, 03:30 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (5.30 pm NZ)

Overview of previous meeting topics

Meeting May 23, 2024: CVI with guest presenter Dr Lisa Hamm.

Lisa presented her research exploring the joys and challenges of trying to understand what children with severe CVI see. She discussed findings from a survey of specialists supporting affected children, introduce a novel assessment tool, and share results from a pilot study using this tool. The session concluded with an interactive discussion, to share our experiences and insights about what strategies we’ve found helpful in understanding what these special children see, as well as brainstorming ways to enhance support for both the children and their families.

Meeting 27 July 2023

Pauline Vercoe-Curtis, parent of a deafblind child, discussed what chronic sorrow is, and how it has impacted on her whānau/family and her experiences with support services and the wider team. What do professionals need to understand about chronic sorrow and how might this guide your practice? You may request a recording of this session by contacting the moderators.

Meeting 25 May 2023

Guest presenter: Amanda Gough (Resource Teacher Vision – NZ)
Topic: Amanda will share practical ideas for unpacking the sounds in a child’s everyday environment… moving through the stages of awareness (how might the child be showing that they are aware of a sound?); localisation (how can the child be helped to find the source of the sound?); identification (what name can be put to this sound?); and sound knowledge (how can the child be supported to better understand the sound and its implications for them?). This will be followed by discussion and question time.

Meeting 23 March 2023

Guest presenters: Ellen Buith and Stephanie Mills.
Topic: The F-words focus on six key areas of child development. Using the 6 F-words framework enables us to view the ‘whole child’ and it will structure our teaching to the child’s strengths and needs. Whether you use the 6 F-words as a conversation starter, to gather information for your Individualised Education Plan (IEP) or in a transition document, it allows you to see all components of who that child is, rather than seeing only deficits.

Meeting 4, May 26 2022

Active Learning

Participants shared their knowledge and experiences of utilising Lilli Nielsen’s Active Learning Approach. Facilitated by Lara Anderson, the discussion included the philosophy of the approach and resources used and adapted to meet the individual needs of young children who are blind, deafblind and low vision.

Meeting 3, March 24 2022

Our EIVI Practice Guidance

We explored  common foundations that help guide us in all the work we do with children and families. Based on SPEVI-List conversations related to effective practice guidelines for early childhood aged children who are blind, deafblind and low vision, this became the focus discussion for this session.
Facilitated by Sharon Duncan, guidelines and materials currently used in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and USA to support and guide effective EIVI practice were shared. Common themes important to participants were brainstormed.
Participants requested that this piece of work continue to be developed for the South Pacific, with the support of SPEVI.

Meeting 2, 25 November 2021

The second meeting took place on 25 November 2021. In this session, the use of Learning Media Assessments and Sensory Learning Profiles with children with low vision and blindness (birth-6 years old) was explored. The discussion was led by invited guests Patrick Hodgkins and Peter Mubiru, 3rd year Occupational Therapy Students from Monash University who are currently completing a student project with Vision Australia. They provided an overview of the project context and facilitated small group discussions on sensory learning profiles and the benefits of recording and supporting the use of learning and sensory preferences in your current practices.

Meeting 1, 23 September 2021

The first meeting was held on 23 September 2021 from 03:30 to 04:30 pm Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney/ 5:30 – 6.30 pm NZ. This first session featured a presentation on early orientation and mobility by Bronwen Scott.