LDA of IL Co-Directors

Our Co-Directors

Srimani Chakravarthi, Co-Director

Srimani Chakravarthi is a Professor at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois in the College of Education Department. Srimani conducted research in Kannada, a South Indian language, during her Ph. D, with a focus on Language Learning Disabilities. She teaches courses in Special Education characteristics, methods, legal aspects, and English Learners. 

She taught for Joliet Public Schools, prior to joining University of St. Francis. She teaches both in the undergraduate and the graduate program and guides doctoral research candidates. Her passion is teaching reading, inclusion, technology and Universal Design to enable equity and access to all, across language and cultural barriers.

Paola Vieyra

Paola Vieyra graduated with her Master’s in Arts December 2023. She’s currently employed at Independence Elementary School at the Valley View School District in Bolingbrook, Illinois as a Dual Special Education Teacher. Paola has more than 11 years of experience working in Early Childhood Education. Her passion for advocating for special needs comes from one of her best teachers, her youngest son, Santiago, who’s double-gifted and part of the special needs population. Paola is proud to be his mom and strives to help other families like hers. Married for 24 years to the love of her life Mr. Vieyra, they are parents to 3 sons, Rafael (22), Leonardo (19), and Santiago (12) along with their three pets, Luna, Cookie, Cherry.

Paola is currently enrolled at Lewis University continuing her special education formation and personal growth.