Ellen works as the CVI Program Director for Perkins School for the Blind. She joined the administrative leadership team at Perkins School for the Blind to create and oversee Perkins CVI assessment program. The position includes continued research with Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, a leader in the field, as well as several vision professionals at MIT, Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School to advance knowledge about CVI.
Through Perkins, Ellen will be directing assessments of students with CVI, directing program planning across the day to improve service and learning environments for children with CVI on and off campus. She is also involved in creating an on-campus mentoring system to increase knowledge and skills around CVI. She is involved in creating online learning resources for the larger community of parents and professionals serving students with CVI.
Ellen teaches Cortical Visual Impairment: Assessment and Education in the Vision Studies graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston training teachers of students with visual impairments about the unique assessment and service to children with CVI.
Ellen previously worked for Concord Area Special Education Collaborative (CASE Collaborative) in Concord, Massachusetts as a teacher of students with visual impairments, deafblindness and cortical visual impairment. She worked with the Minuteman Early Intervention Program in Concord supporting infants and toddlers with visual impairments and their families. Ellen worked for 10 years in Educational Partnerships at Perkins School for the Blind with infants and toddlers as well as school age children.
In 2008, Ellen was named National Teacher of the Year for Children with Multiple Disabilities by the Council of Schools for the Blind (COSB). She worked for 9 years in Melrose, Massachusetts as an integrated preschool teacher. She began her career as a teacher of teenage students with deafblindness supporting functional academics for independent living and working.
Ellen has expertise in the area of visual impairment, deafblindness, early intervention, multiple disabilities, cortical vision impairment, and transition. After studying cortical visual impairment with Christine Roman-Lantzy for 10 years, she became interested in the most recent brain science information, how children with visual impairments build compensatory skills and how children’s experiences relate to children’s growth and development.
In 2014, She created a blog about CVI that currently has over 99,000 views from 44,379 visitors in 96 countries. She hopes blogging and lecturing will identify students with CVI and will generate more referrals for students with CVI. Identification can lead to assessment and service to children so they can improve their visual skills: cviteacher.wordpress.com