Technology for pupils with Multiple Disabilities / MDVI (Multiple Disabilities with a Visual Impairment)

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Technology for pupils with Multiple Disabilities / MDVI (Multiple Disabilities with a Visual Impairment)

Computers and iPads and tablets gives children with MDVI and Multiple Disabilities stimulating visual and sound rewards encouraging interaction and awareness. 

Computers, communication devices and sensory technology offer bright stimulation encouragement for children with MDVI to make use for their vision by offering stimulation visual and auditory rewards. The range of control of image and sound can help identify assess preferences and allow the stimulus to be adapted to them.

Communication and sensory equipment

Simple communicators are ideal to provide auditory feedback, simple recording makes it easy to change the output sounds /messages. Simple multi-message devices can be combined with tactile overlays to give opportunities for exploration. Adapted toys and sensory equipment give further opportunities for stimulation and interaction.

Flexible software

  • Software can be adjusted to suite
  • Colour combinations – black and white effective for many
  • Size of image
  • Direction and speed of movement
  • Simplified images
  • Related sound to image and movement
  • Use familiar sounds and voices

Input Options

Different input options are available to suit the learner’s physical and cognitive ability. 

  • Touch screens and iPads etc. provide direct interaction helping associate action with reward
  • Switches may be needed for children with limited motor skills but due to their tactile nature may distract from the reward and visual stimulation
  • Suitable positioning for user and device and a suitable distraction free environment is important


Eye Gaze computers with suitable software can now enable us to learn more about the learners use of vision, often showing evidence of responses not previously known. For some learners this can lead to them using eye gaze as an input method.