Developmental Psychologist; Contributing Faculty, Walden University; CVI Parent Advocate
Dr. Lopez Avila is a developmental psychologist and mother of a child with cortical visual impairment (CVI). She holds a PhD in Psychology from Florida International University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida. She currently holds a contributing faculty position at Walden University in the Richard W. Riley School of Education and Leadership. At Walden University since 2009, she has served on dissertation committees as a methodologist and taught coursework in research methods. Prior to joining Walden University, Dr. Lopez Avila was an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Lopez Avila has over 20 publications as well as grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society examining childhood anxiety and substance use.
In addition to her rich background in child psychology, Dr. Lopez Avila is a strong advocate for children with CVI and complex communication needs (CCN). Her 9 year old son, Logan, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 2 years old and CVI at 4 years old. Dr. Lopez Avila has extensive training in augmented and alternative communication (AAC) with a particular focus on LAMP. She presented a case study at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in January 2022 that detailed her son’s AAC journey and highlighted the adaptations she has made to Logan’s AAC device based on his functional vision. She has also written about her son’s AAC journey and adaptations to his materials on Perkins’ CVINow.org and Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment Society and is collaboratively working with her child’s team to make adaptations and accommodations related to CVI and CCN.
Dr. Lopez Avila works with Logan’s team to provide him access to all aspects of his daily life including his education. As an integral part of Logan’s team which includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, orientation and mobility, and teacher for the visually impaired, and special education professionals, Dr. Lopez Avila selects curriculum, assistive technology, adapts materials, and coordinates visually accessible services for her son.
Disclosures for Perkins CVI: Collaboration for Change
Barbara Lopez is not being paid for her presentation, but her registration fees are being waived.
Barbara Lopez does not have any nonfinancial relationships to disclose.