Thursday 8th April
Each Thursday a keynote speaker will address the theme of the week. This is followed by a chance to network and chat in our weekly Reconnection Space.
UDL: Connecting FET Learners, Practitioners, and the World
- Ann Heelan, UniversalDesignforLearning.ie
Ann Heelan UniversalDesignforLearning.ie
Ann Heelan is a consultant on Inclusive Education Practice and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for all students. Originally a teacher and then CEO of AHEAD for 20 Years, she has a track record of working in collaboration with national and international organisations to improve the opportunities and rights of students with disabilities in education. She has written on topics such as “Building Inclusive Learning Spaces,” “Getting Started with UDL,” “Inclusive Study Abroad,” “Accessible Assessment," " Developing your UDL Practice," and "Building Communities of UDL Practice.”
In her role in AHEAD, Ann established learning networks with staff in further and higher education, to support them to work together to make their practice more inclusive of students with disabilities. She was the winner of the Miriam Van Acker Award for Innovation in Inclusive Education in 2017, which recognises leadership in promoting inclusive practice for students with disabilities in tertiary education and employment.
Since 2020 she has been working with SOLAS on behalf of AHEAD to research and write the SOLAS publication on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for FET which SOLAS are due to be published in early in 2021.
She now runs a Consultancy Service supporting staff in tertiary education to get started and reduce the barriers for individual students and to develop UDL practice across the institution.
Dr. Thomas J. Tobin University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thomas J. Tobin, PhD, MSLS, PMP, MOT, CPACC is the Program Area Director for Distance Teaching & Learning on the Learning Design, Development, & Innovation (LDDI) team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an internationally recognized speaker and author on technology-mediated education. His books include
- Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (2015).
- The Copyright Ninja (2017).
- Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (2018).
- Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (2020).