Studio headshot of Deborah Gleason
  • Perkins International

Deborah Gleason

Senior Advisor, International


Deborah Gleason is Senior Advisor, International at Perkins School for the Blind.  Debbie has more than four decades of global experience providing leadership and support to build the capacity of local organizations to become sustainable programs, training teachers, advocating for national-level policy change, and collaborating across sectors to support organizations in expanding access to education and services for children with disabilities.  She is skilled at applying technical skills across cultural contexts and adapting strategies to support children with complex disabilities.

An established thought leader with dozens of publications and international presentations on disability, education and low vision sectors, her work informs and advances inclusive development.  Debbie has taught courses and provided technical assistance to programs in 20 countries across Asia, Middle East, Europe, Latin America, Australia and U.S.  In addition, Debbie has presented widely at over 60 international, regional, and national conferences in 15 countries.  Her numerous publications cover a range of topics including training of teachers for learners with visual impairment and multiple disabilities, inclusive education, early intervention for children with visual impairment, and assessment of children with deafblindness/ multiple disabilities.  She also has extensive undergraduate and graduate university teaching experience.

Debbie received a Masters degree in Special Education, specializing in deafblindness and multi-handicapped education from Boston College. She also holds a Graduate Certificate of International Development from Gallaudet University.

Debbie’s career has focused on helping children with complex disabilities around the world learn and thrive, claiming their rightful place as valued members of a family, school and community.

“Children- and their parents and teachers- have always been my best teachers.”