Friday 23rd April: Parallel Presentations & Weekly Close and Reflection
Two live online events take place each Friday afternoon throughout the conference:
Parallel Presentations (14.00 - 15.20): choose between two parallel sessions. These presentations include workshops, presentations and discussions on the week's theme. Full details are included in the schedule.
Weekly close and reflection (15.30-16.30): each week ends with a facilitated dialogue on the week's conference theme. Hosted by conference rapporteurs Dr Marian McCarthy and Dr Vivian Rath , this session will invite conference attendees to consider the issues raised throughout the presentations and invite discussion around learnings and directions for the future.
Online Social Support Group for Autistic Students – A Pilot Project as a Response to the Restrictions of Covid-19
- Sharron Sturgess, Study Adviser for Autism and Asperger Syndrome University of Leicester UK
Sharron Sturgess Study Adviser for Autism and Asperger Syndrome University of Leicester UK
Sharron started her career in teaching before moving to Loughborough University to work as a Disability Officer in 2004. She progressed to managing the service and at the same time began to specialise in supporting students with autism, completing a PGCert in Asperger Syndrome in 2012 and a Masters in Education (Autism) in 2018 for which she received the Course Directors' prize for this research project. Sharron now works as the autism specialist Study Adviser at the University of Leicester, and she started an EdD in September 2019.
Zyggy Banks University of Leicester
Zyggy Banks started his career as a 1:1 support worker at the University of Leicester, before progressing to the role of Specialist Mentor and Study Skills Support for autistic students. He was project partner on the two and a half year An Auternative research project which examined the barriers, specific and systemic that are faced by autistic people as well as the strategies used to overcome them. A selection of results from this project were published in the Neurodiversity Reader Journal.
Launchpad Online: How Student Ownership can Transform an Orientation Programme
- Simon Ahern, Educational Technology Officer, Maynooth University
Simon Ahern Educational Technology Officer, Maynooth University
Simon works as the Educational Technology Officer within the Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) where he coordinates the post-entry supports for Maynooth University students connected to MAP and promotes the use of innovative educational technology solutions. Simon is also a Director of the ALL Institute: Assisting Living and Learning. Simon holds a Diploma in Assistive Technology, a BA in Politics and Linguistics and an MA in Linguistics from UCD, and an MSc in Speech and Language Processing from the University of Edinburgh. His areas of special interest include integrating technology into students' daily life as well as accessibility and inclusivity.
Martha Brandes Outreach Officer, Maynooth University
Martha Brandes is the Outreach Officer at Maynooth University responsible for developing programmes and activities that increase the number of students from diverse backgrounds who enter Maynooth University each year. Martha is a political science graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a post-graduate certificate in Equality Studies from UCD.
Roadmap: An Online Evidence-based and Innovative Support Tool for Students with Disabilities
- Valerie Van Hees, Coordinator of the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium)
Valerie Van Hees Coordinator of the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium)
Valérie Van Hees is the Coordinator of the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium) and has accumulated over 19 years of experience in the field of policy and services on social inclusion in higher education, mainly focusing on students with a disability. At SIHO, she forms a bridge between policy and practice on a daily basis, being a point of contact for both the Flemish Government and higher education staff. Valérie coordinates the inclusive mobility project ‘Establishing a thought-out Policy Framework on Inclusive Mobility across Europe’ (EPFIME).
The Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO) is a collaboration between the Flemish Government and all Flemish Higher Education Institutions. SIHO serves both policy makers and institutions in the development and implementation of inclusion and equity measures for inclusive higher education.
Dominique Montagnese Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium)
Dominique Montagnese is an expert on Inclusive Mobility for the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium). He has been working with international mobility programmes for more than ten years and with social inclusion in mobility for more than six years. He is the initiator of several projects linking disability and Erasmus+ mobilities, such as MapAbility, MappED! and the Inclusive Mobility Alliance which he currently chairs. Dominique contributes to the current development of the platform inclusivemobility.eu, which will be the platform for inclusive mobility across the European Higher Education Area.
Mental Health Awareness & Inclusion
- Carol Neenan, Active Inclusion Officer, Cork Education and Training Board (CETB)
Carol Neenan Active Inclusion Officer, Cork Education and Training Board (CETB)
Carol works in Cork Active Inclusion Network and is an Active Inclusion Officer CETB.
After three decades working as a teacher in the Further Education sector of the CETB, Carol was appointed as Active Inclusion Officer in December 2019. She has always been a very learner centered teacher, and her new role allows her to effect a myriad of positive changes for those in need of support. Many years ago when F.E. colleges were asked to provide new material, she wrote both the "Mental Health Awareness" and "Boundary Management" components for QQI Level 6. Her own personal journey along with the contacts she has made and continues to make, have prompted her to present on a topic that is very close to her heart.
A facilitated dialogue on the Week 3 conference theme and a space to discuss the issues and questions raised
- Dr Marian McCarthy, Vice President Emerita Teaching and Learning, University College Cork
Dr Marian McCarthy Vice President Emerita Teaching and Learning, University College Cork
Dr Marian McCarthy is a former Vice President for Teaching and Learning at UCC, a Fellow of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and a Senior Lecturer in Education. She was co-founder and director of UCC’s Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include Multiple Intelligences theory, Teaching for Understanding, Universal Design for Learning and the Arts in Education.
Marian is a member of the Senate of the NUI and a former Governor of UCC. She also served on the Board of Directors of AHEAD, in which she has a keen interest.
Dr Vivian Rath Trinity College Dublin
Vivian completed his Ph.D in Trinity College Dublin on the social engagement experiences of disabled students in higher education in Ireland. Prior to that he obtained a master’s in management from UCD Smurfit Business School where he researched the employment of graduates with disabilities. He is a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Disability Advisory Committee and acted as rapporteur for the IHREC reasonable accommodation in practice conference. He is an appointee to the National Disability Stakeholders Group. Vivian has worked in higher education for over ten years and is an adjunct teaching fellow in Trinity College Dublin where he lectures on disability and human rights. He received a TCD Equality Champion Award for his work promoting equality and diversity with the institution. He has extensive experience of empowering disabled people to access their right to education and employment opportunities.