Welcome to the Illinois AER Website

2019 IAER Conference

“Connecting the Dots”
February 14-15, 2019

Chicago Marriott Naperville
1801 North Naper Boulevard

Naperville, Illinois 60563

With an annual attendance of approximately 300 participants, the Illinois AER conference is one of the largest gatherings in the nation specifically for professionals who work in the field of low vision and blindness. We hope you will join us for this year’s conference event.

Registration: Please click on the following link for participant registration and exhibitor registration:

Accommodations: A room block has been reserved at the Chicago Marriott Naperville at a special rate of $124.00 per night. Please click on on the following link to book your room under the group rate: IAER Group Rate Link

Program: The conference program will provide participants the opportunity to choose from almost 40 different breakout sessions including topics related to assistive technology, orientation and mobility, cerebral visual impairment, rehabilitation, deafblindness, and much more. Check out the At-A-Glance Schedule and the Schedule with Descriptions for more information on the program. We will continue to update these documents as program details are confirmed.

Awards: A highlight of the conference is the opportunity to recognize phenomenal professionals in our state. Consider nominating your colleagues. The links below provide access to a description of each award along with the appropriate nomination form.

IAER Community Partner Award Nomination Form

IAER Individual Award Nomination Form



IAER Volunteer Direct Service Program
The IAER Volunteer Direct Service Program is designed to provide financial support to an Illinois AER member who is working on a mission or other service project that has involvement with children or adults who are visually impaired.  Stipends are usually allotted as a partial reimbursement for expenses related to the project. Each person receiving a stipend will be asked to write an informative article, which may be included in an upcoming IAER Newsletter, sharing what he or she has learned.

Please click here for the application.

Do you want to go to Space Camp? Illinois Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (IAER) is once again offering a scholarship for Space Camp 2018! The 2018 sessions for SCI-VIS (Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students) will be held September 29th to October 4th (travel home October 5th) at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. SCI-VIS gathers academically oriented, visually impaired students, from around the world. Braille, large print, low vision devices, CCTV?s, refreshable braille displays, synthetic speech, and support from certified teachers of the visually impaired are available during this week to allow the best experience for children with visual impairments.

While at SCI-VIS, students live in a simulated space station called Habitat 1. They have the opportunity to practice their leadership and teamwork abilities as they prepare for two Space Shuttle missions.

Space Camp is open to students from 4th grade (age 10) through high school. There are four separate programs available, including Space Camp, Aviation Challenge (Mach I, II, & III), Space Academy, and Advanced Academy. Aviation Challenge, Space Academy and Space Camp cost $880, while the cost for Advanced Academy is $1050.

More information is available at

The Illinois AER scholarship covers the cost to attend. Parents would need to cover travel cost and spending money. For more information regarding this opportunity and to obtain the scholarship application, contact Elizabeth Budzik at 847-436-4553 or [email protected]


IAER Current Board

 President: Amy Lund

President Elect: Jennifer Duncan

Past President: Mindy Ely

Secretary: Stacy Kelly

Treasurer: Jasmine Wells

Members at Large:

Elizabeth Abelson

Dayna Grismanauskas

Maura Guimon-Warren

Allyssa Harpst

Lisa Meadors

Molly Pasley