OUR MISSION

We’re urgently confronting the world’s leading cause of childhood blindness and low vision.

Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is a hidden epidemic. Based in the brain, CVI is alarmingly underdiagnosed and misunderstood. Less than 20% of children with CVI have been diagnosed, according to research conducted by the CVI Center at Perkins with analysis from McKinsey & Company. One study shows that CVI may affect up to 1 in 30 children in mainstream elementary classrooms.

More than ever before, the time is now to confront CVI — because we know we can help children with CVI learn to access their world and define their success with timely diagnosis, targeted interventions, trained teachers, and effective services and education.

At Perkins, we are on a mission to boldly address the CVI crisis through education, innovation, and collaboration. Our approach is research-based and whole-child-focused. Join us. Every moment counts.

Teacher works with young student on a tactile lesson

Our CVI services

We believe: Every child with CVI is teachable. Every child with CVI can learn. Every child with CVI has a right to a timely diagnosis and an accessible education. No matter how their CVI manifests, no matter their zip code. We are confronting the CVI crisis through groundbreaking tools, online learning, current and accurate resources, and collaboration with medical professionals, educators, families, and people with CVI.

A mother crouches down, hugging her young, smiling son outside in front of a building entrance.

CVI Now

Your go-to resource for trusted answers and resources about CVI, CVI Now fosters community and shared connection and empowers families with the CVI knowledge, guidance, and tools you and your child need to succeed.

Girl with CVI grabs an item from her red slant board during math class

CVI Learning

Perkins is a leader in online learning. Build your CVI knowledge from introductory workshops to master-level CVI courses. Scholarships are available.

A girl points to a slant board with her teacher

The CVI Protocol

Perkins is taking a bold step forward in urgently confronting the leading cause of blindness by creating a research-based, inclusive assessment protocol for individuals with CVI.

A visually impaired young boy sits with a flower in a wheel chair.

CVI for Medical Professionals

Visit our new CVI hub for medical professionals, stocked with the latest on CVI screening, diagnosis, and research.  We’re in this together.

2024 CVI Conference: Building Meaningful Recognition

June 23–25, 2024 at Revere Hotel, Boston

Head to the conference site for information about registration!

A square that says "The CVI Conference, June 23-25, 2025, Boston". Underneath, three photos of smiling children are placed above the text "Building meaningful recognition. Perkins.org/CVIConference".

There’s power in meaningful collaboration.
Together, we can change the world for people with CVI.

Meet our team

  • Headshot of Ilse Willems wearing glasses and smiling

    Ilse Willems, M.Ed and TVI

    Senior Director at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Ilse
  • Henry being hugged by his mother, Rachel

    Rachel Bennett

    Director of CVI Now, Parent Advocacy and Support at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Rachel
  • Headshot of Mary Zatta wearing red glasses and smiling

    Mary Zatta

    Director of CVI Training at the CVI Center at Perkins, Director of Israel Programs
    Meet Mary
  • Nicole Homerin, M.Ed.

    Director of CVI Education, the CVI Center at Perkin
    Meet Nicole
  • A blonde woman with hair right past her shoulders smiling in the front hall of Perkins.

    Sylvia Mangan, SLP

    CVI Coordinator at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Sylvia
  • A woman smiling with shoulder length grey hair, a gold chain and a navy blue blazer.

    Elizabeth Stuart

    CVI Coordinator at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Elizabeth
  • Headshot of Lacey Smith, smiling wearing bright red

    Lacey Smith

    CVI Parent Community Manager at CVI Now
    Meet Lacey
  • A photo of a woman with long brown hair and a bright blue shawl smiling.

    Ali Mahady

    Manager of CVI Outreach and Engagement at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Ali
  • A photo of Kaitlyn smiling in a blue shirt.

    Kaitlyn Dushay

    Product Manager at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Kaitlyn
  • A photo of Jackie Swisshelm smiling in the front museum area of the Howe building.

    Jackie Swisshelm

    Digital Content and Design Strategist at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Jackie
  • Lauren Moquin

    Program Manager at the CVI Center at Perkins
    Meet Lauren

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We’re building a CVI community

Rachel Bennett CVI Now

“Raising a child with a different normal means I am building a new world for my son every day. It’s incredible that my personal journey has brought me to Perkins as the Content and Community Manager for CVINow.org. We are building CVI Now into an essential website and a dynamic online community for CVI families.”

Stories & resources

Join us on our CVI learning journey.

Let’s learn and support each other on this journey. Have questions? Reach out to the CVI team at Perkins today!

A student holds a multi-sided tactile die.

Join us on our CVI learning journey

Let’s learn and support each other on this journey. Have questions? Reach out to the CVI team at Perkins today!

Support our work

Make a gift to help us confront the leading cause of childhood blindness.