Austin McDowell Foundation

Austin McDowell Foundation

Developing the Austin Assessment screening tool to identify the child in every class struggling due to cerebral visual impairment.


Right now, children in every class in every school are struggling due to unknown, undiagnosed, unsupported visual difficulties caused by cerebral visual impairment or CVI. The children are lost in these classes; they all have the potential to learn and develop much more effectively, but only if they get the support they need. To get support, the children first need to be identified.

Dr Nicola McDowell was one of those kids. She knows first-hand the difference support makes. Nicola’s life is dedicated to reaching and helping children like her and she has developed an iPad App called the Austin Assessment, to do just that. The App is a simple fun game of matching cards, with built in measures to identify children. Through extensive published research, the App has been validated meaning it is accurate.

Nicola has set up the Austin McDowell Foundation to develop and run the App. The team at the Foundation are all contributing their time at no cost but need to raise funds to get the App into production. How many children? From research, in New Zealand, around 35,000 children are struggling because of CVI. In Australia 180,000, the UK nearly half a million, the US over 2 million.

We need to raise NZ$650k for the App and website which will provide the all-important support information for the children identified. Please help reach these children by donating.

News story on the App:

More about us

The Austin McDowell Foundation has been set up to support the Austin Assessment App, a screening tool for cerebral visual impairment related visual issues. The aim of the Austin McDowell Foundation is to ensure equitable access to the Austin Assessment.

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Latest donations

Mariagrazia on 06 May 2024
Thank you for your amazing work in this space Nicola
SPEVI NZ on 26 Mar 2024
Kia ora Dr McDowell. Thank you for sharing your work creation of the Austin Assessment Screening App!
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 16 Oct 2023
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 19 Feb 2023
Weiterhin viel Erfolg für diese Aktion.
Shirley on 11 Feb 2023
Congratulations on developing this. Assessment.

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