Allie Gunderson – Vice President of Disability Services
Allie Donnelly Gunderson is the Vice President of Disability Services for Anixter Center. Her focus areas include service design, delivery, and sustainability; quality assurance and organizational systems development; and building partnerships. Additionally, Ms. Gunderson serves as a national trainer for Easterseals Project Action Consulting, supporting communities in removing barriers to accessible transportation for people with disabilities and older adults.
Ms. Gunderson’s professional experience includes consulting and leadership roles in both K-12 education and adult disability services. As a strategic initiatives consultant, she provided training, technical assistance, and direct support to non-profits and state agencies on transformational projects. During her time as Assistant Director of Autism Services at Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford, Ms. Gunderson supported eight education, training, and direct service programs employing over 250 staff and serving children and adults across the Chicagoland region. She also served as a Director in Chicago Public Schools, overseeing district-wide initiatives supporting students with disabilities in the nation’s third largest school system, with a focus on transition to adulthood. This work included the development and roll out of a district-wide Travel Training program for students with disabilities.
Ms. Gunderson started her career as a transition coach and special education teacher, and she credits her motivation to a group of students with disabilities called the Wild Dream Team, who truly taught her the meaning of self-determination. These students, now successful adults, continue to serve as a source of inspiration when teaching organizations to think differently about how to prepare students with disabilities for post-school success. Ms. Gunderson has a B.S. in Rehabilitation Services from Penn State University and an M.A and M.Ed in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, where she was triply certified as a general education, special education teacher, and teacher of the Deaf.