cvi boy

The ALEX Program

Our Experts

Mindy Ely, Ph.D.

Mindy Ely, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Low Vision and Blindness program, Department of Special Education at Illinois State University. She has been active in the field of blindness for over 25 years including 15 years serving children as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and a Developmental Therapist Vision (DTV). Dr. Ely is an active researcher focusing on cerebral visual impairment (CVI). The majority of Dr. Ely’s work is aimed at supporting and furthering practitioner knowledge and skills when children have CVI. At ISU, Dr. Ely added coursework on CVI to both the undergraduate and graduate curricula ensuring that TVIs who graduate from ISU’s programs are well prepared to serve students with CVI. At a national level, she recently co-authored a white paper called Roles and Responsibilties of Vision Educators (TVIs and O&Ms) when Learners have CVI (Mazel, Morse, Ely & Zatta, 2020) and is completing a study to investigate educators’ practice and their alignment to those outlined in the paper. This work will inform needs for education and resources to the field. In addition, Dr. Ely is leading a study to investigate the effectiveness of specific intervention practices often in use when children have CVI. Dr. Ely serves as the president of the Neurological Visual Impairment Division of the nation’s professional organization for vision educators, the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Dr. Ely is excited to partner with EasterSeals in the Alex Program for CVI as she believes this initiative to have limitless opportunities to a) support local families and their educational teams, b) lead the nation in the establishment of best practices in assessment and intervention, and c) enhance pre-service and in-service for professional practice.

Susan Sullivan, M.S. Ed. 

Susan Sullivan, M.S. Ed. is a graduate of Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in Low Vision and Blindness as well as University of Illinois with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. She has been serving children and families as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and a Developmental Therapist Vision (DTV) for over 30 years.

 Susan is a founding member of the Neurological Visual Impairment Division of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for Persons with Visual Impairments and served as Division Chair from 2018-2020. She spent six years as the Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) Project Leader at American Printing House for the Blind (APH), developing products specifically for learners with CVI.

 Susan is currently employed as Cerebral Visual Impairment Clinic Lead at Easterseals Central Illinois, continues to provide consultation services to APH and teaches vision classes as an adjunct professor at Illinois State University.


Easterseals Central Illinois has been serving children and families in Central Illinois for over 100 years. The organization has a strong history of collaboration and innovation to meet the emerging needs of children in our community. The ALEX Program is the product of a decade long commitment to the training and education of our therapy staff and our community on CVI. 

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