Molly Pasley
Assistant Professor, Special Education
ACUE Distinguished Teaching Scholar


Special and Early Education (SEED)


  • Ed.D., Illinois State University
  • M.S.Ed., M.A., Northern Illinois University, Orientation and Mobility
  • B.S., Illinois State University, Special Education with a focus in Low Vision/Blindness


Molly Pasley is an assistant professor in the Visual Disabilities program in the Special and Early Education Department. She received her doctorate in special education in 2018, specializing in qualitative analysis of the experiences of young adults with visual impairments in driver’s education. Before starting at NIU, Molly worked as a teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVI) and certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS) with children and adults in urban, suburban, and rural school districts in Illinois. She also has experience teaching older adults with visual impairments through her work with the Veterans Administration system. Molly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in teaching children with visual impairments, orientation and mobility for professionals working with individuals with visual impairments, and introduction to special education.

Molly’s research focuses on understanding the experiences of people with low vision/blindness as they navigate the built environment and illuminating the ways in which people with disabilities are “othered” as a result of others’ perception of their capacity.

Courses Taught

  • SESE 240/540 – Introduction to Special Education
  • SEVI 400/500 – Education of Students with Visual Impairments
  • SEVI 430/530 – Basic Orientation and Mobility for Teachers of People with Visual Impairments
  • SEVI 581 – Student Teaching in Elementary Special Education
  • SEVI 582 – Student Teaching in Secondary Special Education
  • SEVI 585C – Internship in Orientation and Mobility Instruction of Persons with Visual Impairments

Recent Publications

*Kapperman, G., Pasley, M., & Garcia, M. (2023). Preparation of individuals who are visually impaired for employment as Spanish interpreters. Journal of Visual Impairments and Blindness, 117(3), 246–250.

Pasley, M. (2022). A study of young adults with visual impairments and driver’s education. Disabilities, 2(3), 462–473.

Pasley, M. & Otto, S. (2021). Refusal to see: A concise history of racial and disability passing. Journal of Philosophy and History of Education, 71(1). 49–66.

Pasley, M. (2020). Driver’s Education. In A. L. Corn & L. P. Rosenblum, Finding Wheels (pp. 70-77). Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Pasley, M. (2019). Young adults with visual impairments and driver’s education: Journeys of self-efficacy, identity, and transition to adulthood. (Publication No. 1-30-2018) [Doctoral dissertation, Illinois State University]. ISU ReD: Research and eData.

* Publications indicate work completed with graduate students.


Graham 233A

ACUE Credentialed Educator