child hands holding a tablet with the Austin Assessment App in it over a green backgroundDecorative yellow circle

Available now:
The world’s first validated app that screens for CVI

For the first time, professionals and parents can easily learn if children are affected by CVI related visual issues. Created by the CVI community for the CVI community, this screening tool will transform lives.

What is CVI?

CVI is the most common cause of visual impairment in children in economically developed countries. CVI occurs when parts of the brain that process vision are not working typically. CVI can cause visual perception difficulties that make learning difficult for the majority of children affected. Simple changes can be transformative for these children, but the affected children need to be identified first.
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1 child in every class may have CVI
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3.4% of children in mainstream education have CVI-related issues
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80% of children with CVI may struggle with learning

A validated screening tool for CVI related visual issues

For the first time, through a fun app, taking only a few minutes to complete, with the results immediately available, we can identify these children.

Two versions of the Austin Assessment app are available. For personal use, for example a family who may suspect a child is affected by CVI, there is The Austin Assessment App. For professionals who may want to screen larger groups, including for research, there is the Austin Assessment Pro App for Professionals.

Get the Austin Assessment App

Dr Nicola McDowell is the creator and founder of the Austin Assessment. Nicola has CVI herself.

When Nicola McDowell was 16 years old, she suffered a massive brain haemorrhage. She survived but her vision, and her life, was never the same. It took 17 years for Nicola to get her CVI diagnosis. She created the Austin Assessment so no child ever has to wait that long to get the help they need.
Nichola smiling looking to the camera. She is wearing a black leather jacket

Latest news and updates

Newsletter 3 - Austin Assessment for Adults said: We need the Austin Assessment for adults.
In our third newsletter, Nicola shares how the Austin McDowell Foundation has listened to the feedback from users by prioritising extending the normative range database for the Austin Assessment so that it can be used by adults.
Nicola McDowell

The benefit of using the Austin Assessment in a vision loss rehabilitation context

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A practitioner who works in vision loss rehabilitation shares how valuable the Austin Assessment can be in this context.
Nicola McDowell

Newsletter 2 - Austin Assessment in Action

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In our second newsletter, Nicola shares her research on supporting children with CVI related visual issues in mainstream schools. We also hear from a Mum in New Zealand who used the Austin Assessment with her son Oscar and the difference it made for them.
Nicola McDowell

How the tool works

The Austin Assessment app is a fun and simple card matching game that anyone can download and use. Designed for children, the game is fun to play and helps children, their parents and professionals to understand how their vision works, so they can get the help they need to thrive.

Learn more about how the app works

See our results page for information on what to do if you have a positive result, or if you have a negative result you were not expecting.

CVI is a common but often undiagnosed condition that children around the world struggle with. Diagnosis can be costly and hard to get.



14-year-old brain tumour survivor, with CVI
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“I always felt dumb. So it was a big relief to find out that there’s an actual reason for that, that I’m not just not smart. It’s just made me a lot happier.”

Professor Gordon Dutton

Paediatric ophthalmologist
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“It is a unique test. Nothing like it has ever been invented.”


Mother of 8-year-old P, who has CVI
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“The Austin Assessment has made me, as a parent, much more aware of how much effort it takes for her to be able to see.”

Our partners and sponsors

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A tablet with the Austin Assessment app opened. The main menu shows Play, Scores, Results, and Options buttons.

Get the app today

Download the iPhone and iPad app for personal or professionals.