I Did It My Way!
Assistive Technology (AT) and Customised Learning
Remote learning has brought a mix of new opportunities and new barriers for students with disabilities in accessing education like never before. But more and more, students are understanding how they can use both mainstream and assistive technologies to customise and streamline their learning experience, giving them more control, independence and agency.
Equally, educators are understanding the importance of promoting good technology use by students within their programmes and realising the part they have to play in providing materials which students can engage with successfully using their own technologies.
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Pre-recorded Sessions and Poster
Pre-recorded Sessions and Poster
Week 2 Pre-Record 1
- ExS: Helping Students in Higher Education Develop their Executive Functioning Skills
Kristin Horan, Lecturer, Shannon College of Hotel Management
Kristin Horan Lecturer, Shannon College of Hotel Management
Kristin lectures in Intercultural Communication, Public Speaking and EFL at the Shannon College of Hotel Management. Kristin holds a BA in Communications (Radio/TV/Film), an MA in English Language Teaching, and is currently writing up her PhD in Applied Linguistics, investigating the use of metadiscourse in student academic presentations. She has previously worked in publishing in the production, sales and support of academic books. Kristin recently took over as the Project Leader for the ExS project, a web-based application to assist students in the development of their executive functioning skills.
Orla Cullinane Lecturer, Shannon College of Hotel Management
Orla is a Lecturer and Student Welfare Officer in the Shannon College of Hotel Management. Orla lectures in Skills for Work Life, Food Safety, Food Science and Intercultural Communication. Orla also looks after student welfare. She practices and is an advocate of mindfulness on campus having completed an MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) course. Orla chairs the college Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee and believes passionately in the importance of addressing the underlying disparities present in the student body, particularly among more vulnerable groups, by responding to and understanding the different range of learning supports required, making for a truly holistic and inclusive learning environment.
Loraine Kavanagh Lecturer, Shannon College of Hotel Management
Loraine Kavanagh is a Lecturer in English and Business Skills Development at the Shannon College of Hotel Management. One of her interests is promoting languages outside the classroom and in 2015 was selected as a European Language Label (ELL) Language Ambassador. Through teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and supervising final year projects, she has developed an interest in academic writing and was part of a small team which set-up academic writing workshops in the college. Academic writing is an area where she would like to do further research and is currently undertaking an M.Litt in this area with the hopes of bringing the research to PhD level.
Week 2 Pre-Record 2
- Harnessing Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) for the Sales Apprenticeship
Siobhan Magner, National Programme Manager for the Sales Apprenticeship, Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB)
Siobhan Magner National Programme Manager for the Sales Apprenticeship, Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB)
Siobhan Magner has an extensive background in Higher Education (HE) - lecturing, training and programme design & development in undergraduate, postgraduate, CPD and corporate disciplines.
After 20 years in the HE sector, Siobhan moved to the Further Education (FE) sector in 2017 to lead the programme design and development of a number of new generation apprenticeships. Her current role with Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB) as National Programme Manager for the Sales Apprenticeship involves the implementation and management of this new innovative programme. Research interests include entrepreneurial education, innovative assessment and design, with a particular focus on work-based assessment.
She was awarded a Masters in Hospitality Management from DIT (TUD) and is currently undertaking a Level 9 Postgraduate Certificate in Programme Design and Validation for Further Education and Training (FET).
Edel Gavan Technology Enhanced Learning Coordinator, Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board
Edel Gavan is the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) coordinator at MSLETB. Her role includes promoting and supporting innovative, collaborative, cooperative and integrated approaches to the adoption of new technologies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of communication, collaboration, teaching and learning across MSLETB. Previously Edel worked as a learning designer at Hibernia College where she developed interactive online content for a wide range of educational courses, including Masters programmes in post-primary and primary teaching. She has vast experience in planning, researching, designing and delivering blended and online learning, encompassing learning pedagogy, instructional design and course development and delivery, with a focus on providing an excellent learning experience for students. She has also held roles within Hibernia College on the continual professional development and student support teams. She was awarded an MSc in Applied eLearning from Dublin Institute of Technology and a BA (Hons) Business and Marketing from the University of Wales.
Lorraine Devaney Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board
Lorraine Devaney works as an e-Mentor with MSL ETB providing day-to-day support, setup and training in the use of instructional and educational technologies and services.
Week 2 Pre-Record 3
- Mainstream Technology Solutions - Levelling the Playing Field for Vision Impaired Users
Daniel Dunne, Assistive Technology Trainer, National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI).
Daniel Dunne Assistive Technology Trainer, National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI).
Daniel Dunne is one of NCBI's Assistive Technology Trainers, working exclusively with children and young people with sight loss. Daniel completes assessments and delivers training intervention supports to individuals and groups of young people, families, and educational support staff. Daniel played a central role in the success of NCBI's shift towards virtual intervention delivery within the wider team in recent months. Daniel facilitates regular assistive technology workshops for young students that promote the use of technology solutions in daily life for work, rest and play. His ability to solve problems on the go, combined with his positive can-do attitude, results in Daniel being an asset to NCBI and the community of children and young people with whom he works.
Cian O'Toole Leaving Certificate Student, St Joseph's Secondary School
Cian O Toole is a Leaving Certificate student at St. Joseph's Secondary School in Charlestown, Co. Mayo who has quite a keen interested in computers and technology in general. He says he loves watching films and he also claims to be a pretty good musician too! Cian has a vision impairment and employs strategies and solutions to access the curriculum including mainstream devices like his humble Samsung phone. He has discovered that most of his access needs are solved from using his phone, from distance viewing via its camera, to typing and uploading notes for class in conjunction with his laptop too.
Week 2 Poster 1
- Meaningful and Peer Supported Virtual Work Placements for Young Students in Transition Year
Edel Doherty, Children and Young Person's Team, National Council for the Blind Ireland
Edel Doherty Children and Young Person's Team, National Council for the Blind Ireland
Edel Doherty is a certified low vision therapist and orientation and mobility instructor with NCBI's Children and Young Person's Team. Edel has a track record for delivering high quality project management initiatives in youth work. She is committed to the delivery of person-centred solutions and an authentic rights-based approach when working with children and young people.
Clare Kennelly CEO, Inclusive World Training
Clare Kennelly is the CEO of Inclusive Cork and Inclusive World Training. She has over 30 years experience in the education sector. The goal of her company is to develop disability confidence in business and society and thus empower younger disabled people navigate successfully and overcome the obstacles. She is personally and professionally passionate about disability and employment, authentic inclusion, assistive technology, accessible environments, sustainable building, universal design and international cooperation in education, employment, and disability.
Shane Earley Student
Student in a Community College
Thursday 15th April
Thursday 15th April
15.00-16.00 - Week 2 Keynote (Live Only)
- A Bicycle for the Mind: How Technology Can Empower All Learners for Success
Luis PÃ©rez Ph.D., Technical Assistance Specialist, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST
Luis Pérez Ph.D. Technical Assistance Specialist, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST
Luis Pérez is a technical assistance specialist for the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST. In this role, he promotes the creation, delivery and use of high quality accessible educational materials and technologies to support equitable learning opportunities for all students. He holds a doctorate in special education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from the University of South Florida. Luis has published three books on accessibility, mobile learning and UDL: Mobile Learning for All (Corwin Press), Dive into UDL (ISTE) and Learning on the Go (CAST Publishing). He was the recipient of a 2020 Making It Happen! Award from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and was also honored as the ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Inclusive Educator in 2016.
16.00 to 16.30 Reconnection Space (Live Only)
- A meeting space to join for unstructured networking and chat with other conference participants. Meet new colleagues and build your inclusive community
Friday 16th April
Friday 16th April
14:00-15:20 - Parallel 1: Themed Presentations (Live and Recorded)
- Learning With a Little Help From my Friends: Inclusive and Structured Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Programmes Through the Lens of UDL
Nevan Bermingham, Lecturer, TU Dublin
Nevan Bermingham Lecturer, TU Dublin
Nevan Bermingham is a Lecturer in Computer Science, Engineering, Business and Information Technology at the Technological University Dublin. He has a technology background and over 15 years of senior management experience within the ICT and Telecommunications industries. His research areas include peer learning for improved engagement and developing bespoke mobile apps for first year orientation.
Paul Geoghegan Undergraduate Student, Technological University Dublin
Paul is a former TU Dublin Access Foundation Student who is currently an undergraduate student of Computer Science in the TU Dublin. Paul is currently a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Group Leader who delivers face to face and virtual sessions weekly with Access Students in computer programming.
- A Whole-Systems Holistic Approach to Designing an Enabling Higher Education Setting for All
Dr Klavdija Zorec, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Dublin City University
Dr Klavdija Zorec Post-Doctoral Researcher, Dublin City University
Dr Klavdija Zorec (BA, MEd, PhD) is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Psychology at Dublin City University. Her scholarship examines the issues of diversity, equity and justice in education. She investigates social, cultural and systemic influences on learning and development of underrepresented and underserved groups. Her work focuses on a broad vision of human development and inclusion and centers on the development of empowered and meaningful lives.
- Opportunities and Challenges of Assistive Technology during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Aoife McNicholl, PhD Candidate, Dublin City University
Aoife McNicholl PhD Candidate, Dublin City University
Aoife McNicholl is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at Dublin City University. Her doctoral research is funded by an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. Aoife's research focuses on the impacts of assistive technology use for students with disabilities in higher education.
14:00-15:20 - Parallel 2: Themed Presentations (Live and Recorded)
- Study Tools for All: Is it Time to Rename Assistive Technology?
Piers Wilkinson, Higher Education and Student Partnerships Coordinator, Diversity and Ability
Piers Wilkinson Higher Education and Student Partnerships Coordinator, Diversity and Ability
Piers studied Physical Oceanography at Bangor University, and supports Diversity and Ability's work as their Higher Education and Student Partnerships Coordinator. They've been deeply involved in representing disabled students for the last 6 years, culminating in being unanimously elected as the NUS Disabled Students Officer for the 2019/20 term. Piers' previous work includes commissioner for the HE Commission on Disabled Student Experiences, shaping the UKs implementation of the EU Web Accessibility Directive, and advising on the Student Minds Mental Health Charter.
Charlie Wood Higher Education Relations Lead, Diversity and Ability
A lover of maps, colouring-in and the ox-bow lakes. You guessed it! Charlie is a Geography graduate who now finds himself at the heart of the Higher Education outreach team at Diversity & Ability (D&A). Charlie uses his knowledge and experience of supporting disabled students to help Higher Education Providers create truly inclusive study and support spaces for all.
David Mooney Senior Inclusive Consultant and SpLD Tutor, Imperial College London
David has been an SpLD Specialist Tutor and PATOSS assessor since 1997 and has been working in Higher Education since 2001. His current position at Imperial College has developed to include the advisory remit on inclusion for disabled students generally and those with SpLDs in particular. As part of a recent Excellence for Teaching and Learning Project, he provided advice and guidance during curriculum redesign and assessment review. He has also a co-written, with the Education Development Unit, a workshop aimed at advising academics on how to improve their inclusive practice. He has a passionate interest in the field of inclusive technologies and the transformational impact they can have on teaching and learning.
- Supporting Students Online: Inclusive Digital Learning with Blackboard Ally at NUI Galway
Kate Molloy, National University of Ireland, Galway
Kate Molloy National University of Ireland, Galway
Kate Molloy is a Learning Technologist with the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is currently working as NUI Galway project lead on the Irish Universities Association Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning project. Kate began her career as a secondary English teacher in Connecticut before moving home to Ireland. As a teacher, she became interested in critical pedagogy, inclusivity, and the use of technology. In 2015, she moved into higher education where she supports staff teaching with technology. Her work focuses on the informed and ethical use of technology in higher education, learning design, and open practice. Kate is Secretary, National Executive of the Computers in Education Society of Ireland.
Cameron Keighron PhD Candidate, National University of Ireland, Galway
Cameron Keighron is a PhD candidate in the School of Medicine and the student partner on the Inclusive Learning project at NUI Galway. In recent years, they have served as the Postgraduate Taught Officer and Vice-President of Education in NUI Galway Students' Union. Cameron is passionate about ensuring that the student voice is highlighted in the creation, delivery, and evaluation of learning and teaching.
Jane Ennis National University of Ireland, Galway
Jane Ennis is the Academic Skills Coordinator and a Disability Advisor with the Disability Support Service (part of the NUI Galway Access Centre). She is currently project manager for the Inclusive Learning at NUI Galway project. Her recent projects have focused on academic skills development, inclusive practice, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
- Is Assistive Technology Everyone’s Business?
Trevor Boland, Dublin City University
Trevor Boland Dublin City University
Trevor Boland is an experienced Assistive Technology Officer working in Higher Education supporting Students with disabilities. He previously lectured in the Access programme for non-traditional students in TU Dublin.
Trevor was previously the Digital and eLearning Officer in AHEAD and has been involved in the National rollout of the UDL Badge with UCD and the Teaching and Learning Forum.
15.30-16.30 Weekly Close and Reflection (Live Only)
- A facilitated dialogue on the Week 2 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 National Disabled Postgraduate Advisory Committee
Vivian is the Organiser of the National Disabled Postgraduate Advisory Committee and the TCD Forum for Disabled Staff and Postgraduate Students. Vivian is an academic, a human and disability rights advocate and a change maker. He is currently an Adjunct Teaching Fellow in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Education and the Research Officer with the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD). His Ph.D, titled the “social engagement experiences of disabled students in higher education in Ireland”, focused on the areas of disabled student social engagement, transitions, voice and belonging.