AHEAD uses cookies to give you the best experience on our websites. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies as described in this Privacy Policy. Click here to remove this message.
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

Text Size

Menu

AHEAD Online Conference

Ten Weeks of Webinars

Through the Looking Glass - Our Online Conference

Welcome to the 10th and final week of our free onine Conference.

Transformation is a key characteristic in education and the workplace as it adapts to a changing society. AHEAD is no stranger to adaption and transformation too as this year we will be welcoming you to our online Conference. We have an exciting plan to deliver 10 weeks of webinars to you as we go through the looking glass to hear from practitioners and students about inclusion in different contexts such as FET and Higher Education.

Below, you can find our ten-week schedule and it will be populated with information about the webinars as well as links to register for each session. Bear with us as we consolidate these times, dates and sessions. Updates will be made available on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Register for Week 10 as early as possible to ensure you can participate in the next Webinar.

Week 1- Thurs 26th March, 3.30- Keynote 1: A future vision of the disability service

Opening

This session will be opened by Neil McDermott, Senior Manager of Access Policy, Higher Education Authority.

Keynote Speaker

Frederic Fovet, Royal Roads University

Title of Talk:

Through the looking glass: A Utopian vision of what Higher Education Disability service provision might look like in a genuinely inclusive future

Summary of session

The session will examine contradictions and tensions which have become insurmountable within Disability service provision in a rapidly changing landscape in higher education at the moment.

It will then examine concrete and pressing changes Accessibility services need to tackle in order to remain pertinent. 

The final part of the session will examine the leadership and management repercussion of this reflection. 

Short Biography

Frederic Fovet is an Associate Professor within the School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads University, in Victoria, BC, Canada.  He is also Program Head for the MA in Educational Leadership and Management.  Frederic's research and practice focus on Inclusion; his work is grounded in Disability Studies.  During his Phd, Frederic took on the role of director of accessibility at McGilll for a period of 4 years.  During that time he was responsible for rolling out Universal Design for Learning across campus and supporting faculty in a process of management of change; he has also explored in his research how UDL affects accessibility services in higher education and their format.  Frederic remains heavily involved in UDL, both in terms of research and on the ground implementation, and he works as a consultant with schools, colleges and universities.   Frederic was instigator and Program Chair for the three first Pan-Canadian Conferences on UDL which took place in 2015, 2017 and 2019 in Montreal, Charlottetown and Victoria respectively.

Click here to access the presentation slides/ supporting material

Click here to access additional resources for Frederic Fovet's Session.

The video of Week 1 Webinar 1 is available with closed captions below:

Week 1 - Fri March 27th, 11.00- Keynote 2: How learning networks can support inclusion

Opening

This session will be opened by Andrew Brownlee, Chief Executive Officer of SOLAS.

Keynote Speaker 

Dr Etienne Wenger-Trayner

Title

Come together: An exploration, with you, on how campus learning networks can support inclusion

Summary of session

In this keynote presentation, social learning expert Dr Etienne Wenger-Trayner will describe what learning networks are and what perspective on learning they represent. He will show how they can support social learning among staff and explore the research on why they work.

The session will close with some practical tips on how to get started in your setting.

Short Biography

Etienne Wenger-Trayner is a globally recognized thought leader in the field of social learning theory, including communities of practice and their application. He has authored and co-authored seminal articles and books on the topic, including Situated Learning, where the term “community of practice” was coined; Communities of Practice: learning, meaning, and identity, where he lays out a theory of learning based on the concept. His new book, coauthored with Beverly Wenger-Trayner, Learning to make a difference: value creation in social learning spaces, lays a new foundation for both the theory and the practice. It will be published in mid 2020. Etienne’s work is influencing both theory and practice in a wide range of disciplines. Cultivating communities of practice is recognized as a key component of a learning strategy in a rapidly growing number of organizations across private and public sectors. Etienne helps organizations apply his ideas through consulting, public speaking, and workshops. One of the most cited authors in the social sciences, he is also active in the academic sphere. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Brighton and the Open University. He regularly speaks at conferences, conducts seminars, and is a visiting professorial fellow at the University of Brighton.

Link to presentation slides (Updated)

The video of  Week 1 Webinar 2 is available with closed captions below:

Week 2- Fri 3rd April, 2.30- The John Kelly Award for UDL 2020

Opening

Dara Ryder, CEO of AHEAD will introduce and facilitate this session.

John Kelly Shortlisted Presenters

Catherine Deegan (Technological University Dubllin)

Laura Hegarty (Galway Mayo Institute of Technology)

Jennifer Lynch (Marino College of Further Education)

Title

The John Kelly Award on Universal Design for Learning 2020

Summary of session 

The John Kelly Award for Universal Design for Learning recognises the innovative practice of teaching staff in further and higher education engaging with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to deliver a more inclusive learning experience for their students. It is targeted at practitioners who have demonstrated their emergent commitment to UDL by undertaking the Digital Badge for Universal Design in Teaching & Learning and making exciting changes to their practice as a result of their participation in the badge.

In this session the three shortlisted candidates will present the changes they made to their practice as part of The Digital Badge for Universal Design in Teaching and Learning. The winner will be announced by Chair of the judging panel, Terry Maguire later that afternoon on AHEAD's Twitter page @aheadireland. 

Short Biography

Catherine Deegan has over 20 years experience teaching and lecturing on a range of subjects spanning physics, electronics, and information technology disciplines in several third level institutions. She is research active and has supervised several masters and PhD students to completion, as well as working in technology transfer and commercialisation.  In 2016-17, she spent a nine-month secondment at the National Forum for Teaching and Learning, where she worked on an interim review of building digital capacity in Irish higher education. In 2019, she completed an MA in Higher Education at TU Dublin on the Impact of Assistive Technology in Higher Education. She was recently appointed as an Assistant Head of School in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at City Campus, Technological University Dublin and aims to embed UDL principles in all aspects of academic practice.

Laura Hegarty has over 13 years’ experience in Industry where she worked within the Telecommunications and IT sector.  She has travelled globally teaching engineers in the Telco industry within the private sector.  Now moving into the public sector, Laura had the pleasure to work and teach service users of whom, are visually impaired.  A very rewarding job to say the least but challenging as my teaching approach had to change.  This was when Laura was introduced to UDL and this has been the foundation of my teaching since 2007 and to be as universal in her design for teaching. Since 2016, Laura lectures at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) within the School of Business where she teaches in both Mayo and Galway campus.

Jennifer Lynch is a teacher in Marino College of Further Education.  She has a HDIP in adult and further education and her background is in Dental Nursing and the healthcare industry.  She is currently doing a post grad course on entrepreneurship and innovation in education at the innovation academy in UCD.  Jennifer has teaching experience in the disability sector, and she has previously worked as a resource teacher in the National Learning Network.  After undertaking the UDL training with Ahead and UCD, Jennifer was instrumental in incorporating UDL into the new Dental Nursing Traineeship programme leading to a higher certificate in Dental Nursing which has been recommended for validation by the QQI panel due to commence in September 2020.

Click here to register for this session, 3rd April at 2.30pm (GMT)

Link to presentation slides

Click here to access additional resources

Week 3 - Fri 10th April, 2.30- Communities of Learning and Study Abroad

Speaker 1

Name

Trevor Vaugh, Maynooth University

Title 

Tackling the Challenges Facing Higher Education: Using Design Thinking to Co-Create Communities of Practice 

Summary of session

 The newly formed Maynooth University Innovation Lab (Mi:Lab) believes that staff and students can be empowered to tackle near and long-term education challenges, using design-thinking, leading to the development of a co-creation community of practice. Design-thinking is defined as a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success (Brown, 2018). It is now a respected and validated means of tackling complex challenges such as those facing education today (Liedtka, 2018).
This session will first introduce the audience to Mi:Lab and its approach to tackling the challenges facing Higher education. It will then proceed to set up a challenge currently facing higher education, namely: ‘How can Maynooth University encourage students registered through the Maynooth Access Programme to pursue a postgraduate degree?’ Mi:Lab’s approach to understanding this problem, namely conducting ethnographic research and design-thinking workshops with stakeholders (Access Students, MU staff and current Access postgraduate students) will then be outlined to show the importance of understanding varying perspectives of the challenge, in order to design real-world solutions. Following this, an insight into the solution-design process will be provided. The process for testing these solutions will then be detailed, with an emphasis on rapid prototyping – testing solutions quickly to redesign and retest in line with the users’ needs. The session will conclude by detailing how communities of practice, led by design-thinking, can help develop tangible solutions to challenges within the HE sector.

Short Biography

Trevor Vaugh is Assistant Professor at Maynooth University and director of the award-winning Masters in Design Innovation (MScDI). Trevor has helped develop disruptive surgical innovations. With over 45 patents he is one of the most active inventors in the country. As a partner and founder of the innovation consultancy Actionable, he helps clients understand design as an agent of discovery, change and a mediator between humanity and technology. Trevor is a board member and co-editor of ‘Iterations’ journal. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the HEA funded Maynooth Innovation Lab, which applies design-thinking to tackle challenges facing higher education.

Speaker 2

Name


Hannah Kelly, AHEAD

Title 

Inclusive Mobility - How can we make study abroad more accessible?

Summary of session

In this session, AHEAD staff and project partner Hannah Kelly will outline the outputs and aims of this European project, Inclusive Mobility and Disability. From European research, we know the participation of young people with disabilities in Erasmus+ programmes is low, this 2 year project funded by the Erasmus+ Youth and Sports Agency aims  to provide accessible information for youth with disabilities on all stages of international mobility to combat this low participation. This session will share the projects outputs to date and future plans including the research on short mobility as an inclusive option, the research on best practice and the projects online platform and toolkit.

Short Biography

Hannah Kelly is a DCU Journalism graduate. Hannah utilised the HEAR programme when accessing third level education and was an active volunteer with the access team. As an Access Ambassador in DCU she gained a drive for equality of access and experience in higher education. She is the current GetAHEAD Co-ordinator at AHEAD, a programme which works to up-skill graduates with disabilities by providing training events and valuable information covering a wide range of topics and resources. On top of the issues of disability and socio-economic disadvantage Hannah has a passion for other areas of social justice including LGBTQI+ rights.

 

Speaker 3

Name

Dr. Suzanne Ehrlich & Michelle Bartlett, University of North Florida

Title

Shifting to the UDL mindset in workplace learning design

Summary of session

Workplace training and development training can benefit from integrating a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) mindset to mitigate barriers for learners. With increased opportunity to engage learners in online platforms in addition to face-to-face experiences, so are our opportunities to shift mindsets by rooting them in an outward mindset (Arbinger, 2016) to reimagine the business/training industry. This deeper dive session aims to explore not only challenges faced by group in shifting mindsets, but to share and identify strategies for UDL mindset integration on a larger scale. Presenters will share best practices and guide participant conversations for a collective discovery of new opportunities to design for all. The session will address awareness, collaboration, accountability, innovation and engagement (Arbringer, 2016) and their application to UDL principles as situated in workplace learning. Participants will discover ways in which the UDL mindset for workplace learning can encourage inclusion and further education for all.

Short Biography

Dr. Suzanne Ehrlich is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Technology, Training and Development program at the University of North Florida. She has presented nationally/internationally on the topics of e-learning integration and implementing the UDL framework for improved learner engagement. Her recent research focuses on faculty and student experiences in higher education and UDL. Her latest publication includes her co-authored volume titled Interpreter Education in the Digital Age and her co-authored article Accommodating in the Online Course Environment for Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. Her service also includes support and development of mentorship programs for interpreters in her local community. 

Michelle Bartlett is a faculty member at North Carolina State University and Coordinates the Masters in Training and Development and graduate certificates. Michelle has years of experience designing and facilitating training in areas of improvement in higher education, post-secondary education, business, and government programs. With extensive experience creating programs, Michelle has delivered career workshops which include Leadership, Change Management, Conflict Management, Communication Skills, Empowering Middle Management, and Improving Training Effectiveness.

Click here to register for this session

Link to presentation slides/ supporting material 

Week 4 -  Fri 17th April,  2.30- UDL and Designing for Diversity

Talk 1 

Name

Dr Seán Bracken, University of Worcester

Title

INCLUDE: An International Collaboratory to Advance Inclusion. 

Summary of session

The International Collaboratory for Leadership in Universally Designed Education (INCLUDE), based at the University of Worcester, was officially launched in Canada in October of 2019. The initiative emerged from a series of dialogues among researchers and inclusion activists who identified the need for greater pan-global collaboration to progress the need for inclusive design especially in Higher, Further and Work-based education. 

Since its inception, INCLUDE has created a network of over 50 colleagues in a diversity of jurisdictions who are dedicated to generating new knowledge and ways of working so that ALL learners are included, particularly those in the Global South. Whilst providing leadership and direction, INCLUDE draws on the strengths of its participant community of professional practitioners to ignite innovation and collaboration. In this session, insights will be provided as to how participants have been engaged in the early stages of INCLUDE formation and the strategies that colleagues have proposed for addressing significant global challenges for education and inclusion in the time of Coronavirus. 

Short Biography

Dr Seán Bracken has worked as an educator in a diversity of international settings, including as a primary school teacher in the USA, a teacher educator in Papua New Guinea and most recently as an education project leader in Brazil and Morocco. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK and is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Worcester. Seán is the Course Lead for the National Award SENCO (PG Cert). He also contributes to professional enhancement of HE colleagues through work on the Post Graduate Certificate for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Sean is the lead co-editor of 'Transforming Higher Education through Universal Design for Learning: An International Perspective.' The experience of working alongside a diversity of international authors dedicated to UDL, particularly Dr Richard Jackson from Boston College, prompted Sean and Richard to co-found INCLUDE. 

Talk 2

Name: 

Dr Lisa Padden & Dr Bairbre Fleming, University College Dublin

Title:

Inclusive Assessment & Feedback: Universal Design Case Studies from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and University College Dublin

Summary of session: 

This session will given an overview of the development of our publication of 15 case studies on inclusive assessment and feedback from two higher education institutions in Dublin Ireland- Dún Laoghaire Insitute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) and University College Dublin (UCD). We will outline our lessons learned from this successful collaboration between two quite different Higher Education Institutions to create a valuable free resource.

Short Biography

Dr Lisa Padden has worked in University College Dublin (UCD) since 2012 and her current role is as Inclusive Education Coordinator. Lisa provides supports for students with disabilities, as well as coordinating and teaching an academic skills development programme. Lisa also works with faculty and professional services colleagues around the university to embed inclusive practice and Universal Design in all parts of the institution. In addition, Lisa collaborates with colleagues in other Universities and Colleges on the wider implementation of inclusivity in Higher Education. Lisa received her BA, MA and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG).

Dr Bairbre Fleming is Deputy Director of UCD Access and Lifelong Learning. She has extensive experience working with under-represented students through the UCD Access programmes with particular emphasis on mature students, part-time programmes and students with disabilities. Her PhD drew on a sociological analysis of the experiences of mature students in higher education.

Talk 3

Name


Lou-Ann Land, University of Kentucky & Dr Deborah Taub, OTL Education Solutions

Title

Using Peer Mediated Strategies to Engage Students as UDL Partners

Summary of session: 

This presentation examines how research on two peer support strategies: peer support arrangements and peer networks [Carter, E. W., Cushing, L. S., & Kennedy, C. H. (2009); Carter et al (2016)]; can be applied at the university level by building on the successful implementation of these strategies at the secondary level. Participants will gain an understanding of what peer support networks are and how they differ from a “peer buddy system” and will understand what peer support arrangements are and how that differs from “peer tutors”. Participants will leave this webinar session with an action plan on how to utilize these strategies in and/or out of the college classroom

Short Biography.

Lou-Ann Land is a technical assistance provider and product developer with the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky, with an emphasis on supporting students with a significant disability. Her overall responsibilities include preparing and conducting teacher training, with an emphasis on access to grade-specific academic content, communicative competence, and indicators for successful post-school outcomes.  Mrs. Land is also responsible for assisting school districts with interpreting post-school outcomes data and identifying how that data informs school-age programs and instruction. She relies on her 19 years teaching experience in her work.

Deborah Taub believes strongly that students deserve equal opportunities to learn and grow and has been actively involved in supporting best practices for all students, with a focus on students with extensive support needs. She provides research and professional development for states, territories, and other entities to develop and sustain systemic change. She has designed, implemented and evaluated assessments for students with significant disabilities, developed standards-based curricula and instruction, and conducted validity evaluations. Currently, Dr. Taub collaborates nationally to support universally designed, accessible standards-based instruction. She works with Project TIES on moving students with significant cognitive disabilities to more inclusive contexts.

Click here to register for this session

Link to presentation slides/ supporting material

Week 5 - Fri 24th April, 3.00- International Perspectives on Inclusion

Talk 1

Name 

Carolee Clyne, University of Northern British Columbia

Title 

Engaging Faculty as Learners in Higher Education

Summary of session 

Reflecting on the principles of engagement, fostering communities of learning, and collaboration among faculty reveals some of the challenges in higher education. Instruction tends to be isolated and poorly supported as a legitimate faculty endeavour. The goal of our session is to explore how UDL can engage and inspire faculty as learners by supporting the adoption of UDL in their learning (teaching) environments. This session will facilitate a discussion and experiential learning of the challenges and opportunities for engaging faculty. The participants can become co-creators of strategies to create dynamic and engaging learning for all in the university classroom. This session is ideal for administrators and faculty interested in exploring how UDL can support effective learning spaces in higher education.

Short Biography

Carolee is a PhD candidate looking at the idea that UDL applied to Faculty as learners results in better educators. Providing support to higher education for the past thirty years in the areas of IT and business analysis, she has shifted her focus to foster learning for everyone. Carolee is modelling lifelong learning.

Talk 2

Name  

Frederic Fovet, Royal Roads University

Title

Mental Health in Higher Ed: Exploring the relevance of UDL from a multidisciplinary perspective

Summary of session

The presenter will draw from the various dimensions of his professional experience.  He has been head of an accessibility service in Higher Ed and is now an Associate Professor in a faculty of Education.  He will explore the relevance of UDL in the context of Mental Health in Higher Education. The idea is to examine not Mental Health (MH) per se, but rather how instruction and assessment can exacerbate and perhaps create mental health issues in Higher Ed, and how UDL therefore might be able to ease this tension through redesign. The talk will begin with a quick look at the literature on UDL and with an acknowledgement of the paucity of research and writing around UDL. The session will then examine issues, within instruction, that are frequently mentioned by students as triggers or even causes of mental issues. In a third stage, the presenter will examine the landscape from a faculty position and discuss some of the points of friction instructors routinely experience. The last section of the talk will explore how redesign of delivery and assessment can ease some of the tension that exists in traditional approaches to teaching in post-secondary and its repercussions on student (and faculty) mental health.

Short Biography

Frederic Fovet is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads.  His research and his practice both focus on the inclusion of students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Over the period of his PhD Frederic held the position of Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill University; his work has, as a result, become considerably informed by Disability Studies.  Over a period of 4 years he led a cross campus push for Universal Design for Learning implementation.  He was the instigator and Program Chair of all three Pan-Canadian Conferences on UDL.

Talk 3

Name: 

Sharron Sturgess, University of Leicester

Title: 

Taking Responsibility – Good Practice Principles for Supporting Autistic Students to Work with Their Peers

Summary of session: 

This mixed methods, practitioner action research MA project examined the experience of autistic undergraduate students on a physics degree have of undertaking group work.  The aim was to discover whether autistic students liked to work with others or not, hypothesising that contrary to popular belief they did but that group work could be better organised and administered by faculty staff to take account of their needs. If this were the case the project then aimed to discover what factors might affect autistic learner’s experience of group work in order to develop good practice principles.

This talk will outline the design and undertaking of the project, its findings and resulting in 10 good practice principles.  We will then consider how the development of UDL is beginning to shape the landscape, and how we as disability practitioners can work with the community of academic staff to increase confidence and empower them to embed inclusive practice.

Short Biography: 

Originally a secondary school teacher in 2004 Sharron Sturgess moved to Loughborough University to work as a disability adviser.  She progressed to managing the service and at the same time specialised in autism support.  She completed a PGCert in Asperger syndrome in 2012, and an MA in Education (Autism) in 2018, for which she received the course director’s prize for her research project.  She commenced an EdD in September 2019.

Click here to register for this session

Link to presentation slides and additional resources

Week 6- Fri 1st May, 2.30- Assistive Technology & Comms of Practice in Higher Education

Talk 1 

Name 

Dr Marian McCarthy & Dr Brian Butler, University College Cork

Title 

Cop On! Developing Communities of Inclusive Practice at University College Cork

Summary of session 

Our presentation will begin with a focus on how we developed a culture of communities of practice at UCC over time. We relate specifically to our accredited programme for staff who teach or directly support student learning. We will then provide examples of developing inclusive communities of practice at boardroom and classroom levels. We believe that such communities thrive on trust and that a cultural, institutional shift has to take place over time to enable inclusive communities of practice to flourish. Such communities are a microcosm of the body politic/ pedagogic of the university and a key indicator of the health of the institution.

Short Biography

Dr Marian McCarthy has served on the Board of Directors of AHEAD. She retired as Vice President for Teaching and Learning from UCC in 2018 and now works there part time as a senior lecturer with the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, which she previously directed. Her primary research interest is in scholarship of teaching and learning approaches to documenting learning, making the intellectual work of teaching visible and valid as research in its own right. She is equally interested in Teaching for Understanding, Multiple Intelligences theory and Universal Design for Learning as powerful ways of advancing such scholarship.

Dr Brian Butler works with the Disability Support service and is the Advisor for Inclusive Teaching and Learning at UCC. He is also a Teaching Fellow working with the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning  (CIRTL) where he teaches on two online programmes for staff of the university. Brian and Marian McCarthy have worked together for over a decade to advance UDL at UCC.

Talk 2

Name 

Aoife McNicholl, Dublin City University 

Title

The Educational and Psychosocial Effects of Assistive Technology use in Higher education.

Summary of session

This presentation will examine a study on:

(1) the relationship between assistive technology needs (met vs unmet) and educational engagement, academic self-efficacy and well-being of students with disability (SWD) in HE in Ireland;

(2) Assistive technology needs as a predictor of educational engagement; and

(3) the impact of AT use and anticipated use on quality of life.

The findings highlight the importance of Assistive technology from both educational and psychosocial perspectives for students with a wide variety of disability diagnoses, thus adding weight to the salience of AT funding allocations in Higher Education. 

Short Biography

Aoife McNicholl graduated from the BSc. in Psychology programme in DCU with a 1.1 and received the DCU Chancellor’s Medal Award for my academic and social engagement. Now a PhD student in DCU and am currently being funded by the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. Her research focuses on the impact of assistive technology (AT) use for students with disabilities in higher education. She have completed a systematic review and cross-sectional survey in this area and will be conducting interviews with students over the coming months to explore the role of AT in self-identity.

Talk 3

Name: 


Dr Catherine Deegan, Technological University Dublin

Title

The Impact of Assistive Technology on Irish Higher Education Practice - A Collective Comparative Case Study

Summary of session

This presentation will discuss the perspectives of the staff closest to the deployment of the technology itself, that is, assistive technology officers and academic staff. A collective, comparative case study approach using semi-structured interviews was taken, in conjunction with a literature review, in order to explore the prevalence and effectiveness of assistive technology usage in Irish higher education from the perspectives of these higher education staff. Activity Theory was used as a framework to both organise the research data collected and to analyse it. The analysis of activity systems of each cohort, including system contradictions and outcomes, both intended and unintended, provided insights into practice and recommendations that will be of interest to academic leaders and decision makers with responsibilities for student support as well as academic provision in higher education. 

Short Biography

Dr Catherine Deegan has a PhD in Applied Physics from Dublin City University, as well as a Postgrad Diploma in Clinical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin. She has worked at TU Dublin since 2000 and is a senior lecturer in Engineering with responsibilities in teaching, programme development and research. Applied research interests incorporate various sensor integration applications including image processing, biometrics, biomechanics and associated wearable technology. She is also engaged in pedagogical and practice research and has completed an MA in Higher Education on the impact of assistive technology on Irish higher education practice.

Click here to register for this session

Link to presentation slides/ supporting material

 Week 6- Fri 1st May, 5.00- Through the Looking Glass: Online Conference Reception

Online Conference reception

Online Conference Reception

Please join us on Friday evening for an AHEAD reception with a difference- please bring a drink of choice and some canape's, if you have them.

AHEAD will be providing a guided tour by Vivian Rath and Dr Marian McCarthy of our student exhibition gallery with images and quotes submitted by students in further and higher education in Ireland on their unique experiences and how having a disability plays a part in that. 

After the exhibition tour, we would like to invite all guests to chat and share your experiences of the conference so far and have a little fun in a relaxed environment together. 

>> Dress code: Comfortable- preferably no pyjamas.

>> What you'll need: Camera and microphone (to chat and interact with other guests)

>> There are only 100 places available so please register early to avoid disappointment.  

Short Bio on Tour Guides

Vivian Rath is a PhD student in Trinity College Dublin where he is researching the social engagement experiences of students with disabilities in higher education. Following his BSc in Pharmacology, he went on to complete an MSc in Business Management where he researched the employment of graduates with disabilities. Vivian is an appointee to the National Disability Stakeholders Group and to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Disability Advisory Committee. This committee has a role in the monitoring of the implementation of the UNCRPD. He has extensive experience in providing supports to students from his years working in University College Dublin.

Dr Marian McCarthy has served on the Board of Directors of AHEAD. She retired as Vice President for Teaching and Learning from UCC in 2018 and now works there part time as a senior lecturer with the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, which she previously directed. Her primary research interest is in scholarship of teaching and learning approaches to documenting learning, making the intellectual work of teaching visible and valid as research in its own right. She is equally interested in Teaching for Understanding, Multiple Intelligences theory and Universal Design for Learning as powerful ways of advancing such scholarship.

Please click here to register for the reception 

Click here to download the Student Exhibition Presentation

Week 7- Fri 8th May, 2.30- FET Focus - Including Diverse Learners

FET (Further Education and Training) Focus - Including Diverse Learners

Talk 1 

Name  

Mary Quirke & Dr Patricia McCarthy, Trinity College Dublin

Title

UDL for Further Education Training - Let make ‘Inclusion Everyone’s Business….’

Summary of session 

This is a presentation that will convey the ‘thinking about inclusion’ that serves the UDL framework for FET (Further Education and Training) Ireland.  We will share the first part of what is a two-part project.  The SOLAS/ AHEAD UDL project aims to develop both an understanding and expert practice in the application of UDL across the FET sector.  However, to appreciate UDL, a first important step is to both understand and appreciate inclusion and how this informs our practice today.  The second step over the coming months will be Guidelines that will inform the practice of UDL across FET.

Short Biography

Mary Quirke is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin.  Mary is a qualified career guidance counsellor, having worked with AHEAD – a National Body, as Assistant Director for over 15 years.  Mary’s primary research interests include UDL, career guidance/professional practice development and inclusive practices.  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mary_Quirke3

Dr Patricia McCarthy is a published expert in the area of disability in relation to student/learner experiences of participation in education and society.  As a registered blind person, Patricia is an active advocate for people with disabilities, advising various governmental and civic society organizations. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Patricia_Mccarthy2

Talk 2 

Name  

Carrie Archer & Dr Stephen O’Neill, City of Dublin Education Training Board

Title

Curiouser and Curiouser: Support Teachers in City of Dublin Education and Training Board Further Education and Training Centres Sharing Curiosities

Summary of session

The Peer Learning Network for Further Education Support teachers began in the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) psychological service in October 2017. Our network provides a platform for teachers working in a support capacity in Further Education and training (FET) centres across the CDETB to explore practices happening in other centres and to become more curious about the possibilities within their own centres and their own practices.

Short Biography

Carrie worked in Marino College of Further Education for 10 years in the role of student support coordinator for both PLC students with additional needs and students engaged with the Back to Education Initiative for over 5 years. She has completed a Master's in Education and Training Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Special Education, Learner Support and Inclusive Education and has more recently been appointed as the Professional Development Coordinator for CDETB.  As a trained group facilitator, over the past 2 years Carrie has been facilitating a Professional Learning Network (PLN) on behalf of the CDETB’s psychological service for those working in a support capacity in CDETB Further Education Colleges. She has always believed in the power of communities to build capacity within staff by bringing together colleagues to collaborate and to share ideas, concerns, solutions, understanding and practices about inclusion and diversity in their classrooms, in their centres and across society as a whole.

Speaker 3  

Name  

Carol Neenan, Cork Education and Training Board

Title

Unpacking the “jabberwocky” of Inclusion in Cork Education and Training Board

Summary of session

Inclusion is a complex process in organisations with a homogenous population e.g. teenage boys and girls heading for state exams, but at Further Education the Learner population is so diverse and on so many levels, that this complex process requires a multifaceted approach.  Further Education is a one year or perhaps two-year programme where the Learner needs to be settled in to new processes and procedures as well as new groups of friends and modules, while being helped to feel comfortable, in fact ideally empowered to “achieve their potential”. The journey to Empowerment can be as eventful as Alice’s journey.  This is just one ETB's wonderland and a “looking glass” at what we do.

ETB- Education and Training Board

Short Biography

Carol has been a teacher with the Cork Education and Training Board for 32 yrs.  Her background is in Applied Psychoogy , Learning Curriculum and Assessment.   Carol works in CSN in the ares of Access & Inclusion as well as conducting Assessments of our Learners and providing Learning support. She have been the “Champion of Disability “ for my college and the UDL promoter and is a member of The Cork Active Inclusion Network group.

Click here to register for this session

Link to presentation slides

Week 8- Fri 15th May, 2.30- Student Perspectives - Nothing About Us Without Us

Talk 1  

Name : 

Hannah Kelly (Facilitator), Gillian Stafford, Vicky Matthews & Christina Myles

Title: 

Student Panel - Making a change on and off campus with student leadership and activism

Summary of session

This will be a panel discussion with students in third level at the moment to share their experiences of advocating for the recognition and rights of students with disabilities in college and at a national level, facilitated by Hannah Kelly, AHEAD's GetAHEAD Coordinator. 

Short Biography

Hannah Kelly is a DCU Journalism graduate. Hannah utilised the HEAR programme when accessing third level education and was an active volunteer with the access team. As an Access Ambassador in DCU she gained a drive for equality of access and experience in higher education. She is the current GetAHEAD Co-ordinator at AHEAD, a programme which works to up-skill graduates with disabilities by providing training events and valuable information covering a wide range of topics and resources. On top of the issues of disability and socio-economic disadvantage Hannah has a passion for other areas of social justice including LGBTQI+ rights.

Gillian Stafford graduated with a BA in Social Science, she is currently studying a master’s in human right and social policy in Maynooth University.  She has a visual impairment which she found is a challenge to get through college.  Gillian is a Maynooth University Access Programme Ambassador. Gillian enjoys telling my story about her journey through college and hopes that someone who hears her story will want to attend college. She aspires for more people with visual impairment or blindness to see that they can attend college.

Vicky Matthews am a wheelchair user, disability advocate, mother and full-time student. She have successfully campaigned for wheelchair accessible buses nationwide and continue to work with Bus Eireann & NTA until every route in the country is accessible. Vicky represented Ireland in the European Parliament this October during the E.N.I.L. Freedom Drive where she went to advocate for the needs and rights of people with disabilities. She have set up the Disability Inclusion & Sports Club in I.T. Sligo where she has the support of all staff & students in making the college inclusive and accessible for everyone.

Christina Myles, is 23 years old from a small county in Cavan. She studied Business and Law in Athlone I.T and is currently undertaking a masters in Law in Dublin City University. She has an interest in Gaelic football and camogie and played both sports.  Christina organised with Epilepsy Ireland Information Talks and specialised training with students and staff.

Talk 2 

Name 


Gillian Stafford, Maynooth University

Title

A Day in the Life of a Student with a Visual Impairment on Campus

Summary of session

This session aims to enlighten learners and workers on how a student with a visual disability gets around the campus.  It will explore what it is like to have a visual impairment compared to being blind.  A lot of people don’t understand what a student needs are when they have a visual impairment.  Not everyone is the same and we all need different supports as there are different levels of visual impairments.

Gillian got involved as a MAP ambassador and a student orientation leader so that she could find my voice to show other students with a disability that you can attend college. Gillian will share her experiences of working with her education institution to get the supports she needed, the discrimination she encountered and how she navigated her way through her studies with an invisible disability.

Short Biography

Gillian Stafford graduated with a BA in Social Science, she is currently studying a master’s in human right and social policy in Maynooth University.  She has a visual impairment which she found is a challenge to get through college.  Gillian is a Maynooth University Access Programme Ambassador. Gillian enjoys telling my story about her journey through college and hopes that someone who hears her story will want to attend college. She aspires for more people with visual impairment or blindness to see that they can attend college.

Link to presentation slides

Week 9- Fri 22nd May, 2.30- Developing Inclusive Cultures

Talk 1 

Name 

Dr John Bullion, Region 12 Educational Service Center

Title

Shift Happens Through Strategic Actions, Preconceived Notions, Perpetuated Fallacies, and
Principled Perceptions Lead to Texas Turnaround

Summary of session

Our research study looks at the importance of effective leadership practices in relation to the administration of special education.  Our study looks at opportunity inequities experienced by Texas students with disabilities through a new lens.  The goal is to create educational experiences that support the development of self-determined students with disabilities that are prepared for college, career, and technical/vocational opportunities. Improving K-12 educational opportunities for students with disabilities will result in new opportunities for these students to successfully transition to college, vocational training, and trade schools.

Session participants will explore insights into K-12 principal perceptions as well as TEAs SPED Strategic Plan, RESCs, and the 60X30 Initiative in Texas.  

Short Biography.

John C. Bullion has served as a Special Education Teacher, Licensed Professional Counselor, Campus Administrator, and Special Education Director. As the Region 12 Educational Service Center (ESC) Special Education Liaison to The Texas Education Agency, John has spent several years developing solutions for efficient dissemination of special education resources across Texas.

John is a Doctoral Candidate in the field of Educational Administration and Leadership at Baylor University where he is researching principals’ perceptions of their self-efficacy to administer effective special education services across a continuum of educational settings. John also serves as a Trustee on the Valley Mills Independent School District Board.

Talk 2 

Name 

Jonathan Staal, Edinburgh Napier University

Title

I’m In - The Inclusive Practice Programme: a Scottish Perspective on Growing Inclusion by Design

Summary of session

The session will look briefly at disabled student support in Scottish Higher education institutions, set in UK and international contexts. It will outline the 'I'm in' inclusive practice programme at Edinburgh Napier University and the rights-based approaches taken to growing inclusion by design across the whole organisation. The session will then describe the introduction of the new Disabled Student Engagement Worker post to explore the wider disabled student experience, gather student views to inform developments, and to engage disabled students with the change programme. The session will finish with detail on the ‘bottom-up’ projects undertaken in year 1; ‘middle-out’ work planned for year 2; and look ahead to ‘top-down’ work being considered in year 3.

Short Biography.

Jonathan Staal has 20 years’ experience working in post-compulsory education in Scotland, including almost 15 years’ working in and managing disabled student support teams.

He is currently Inclusion Services Manager at Edinburgh Napier University, responsible for the Student Funding team, the Disability Inclusion team and the university-wide I’m In change management programme, looking to develop inclusion by design.

Talk 3

Name 

Maureen Haran, Sligo Institute of Technology

Title

Changing the Culture Around Inclusion through Effective Measurable Tools

Summary of session

This session will look at an audit on inclusive practice in Sligo IT. The objective of the inclusive practice module audit was to review a module under a UDL/ inclusive practice lens and identify areas where the willing lecture fell short of compliance. The audit was carried out through an empirical observational review of a lecturer’s module from the Department of Business’s. Using CASTS UDL guidelines and UCD’s Toolkit for Inclusive Higher Education Institutions From Vision to Practice, the lecturers materials were examined and given a compliance score. The compliance score gives a quantitative measurement of inclusive practice within the module. These audits will inform programmatic reviews and programme board considerations of inclusive practice.

Short Biography

Once a former English Teacher in both Ireland and the States, Maureen now lectures on in the Department of Social Sciences and on the Post Grad Cert in Teaching, Learning & Assessment at the Institute of Technology Sligo. Under the Centre for Enhancement in Teaching & Learning she is the team lead on the Universal Design for Learning initiative which is funded by the National Forum for Enhancement in Teaching and Learning. Maureen is also a UDL Digital Badge Facilitator and runs the programme at IT Sligo.  Prior to her current role, Maureen was the Disability Officer at the institute and worked exclusively with students that required disability supports and started an ASD support programme in the college by successfully acquiring HSE funding for adults with ASD in third level at IT Sligo for specific supports.

Name

Liz Moynihan, Kinsale College

Title

A Warm and Supportive Virtual Environment: Covid-19 supports provided by Kinsale College of Further Education

Summary of Session

In moving away from a “one size fits all” approach to teaching, lecturing and assessment, especially in colleges of further education, Liz has sought to facilitate students in working to the same learning goals, but using different methods to both achieve outcomes and demonstrate learning, in the process. Referring to the FE sector as the ‘Cinderella’ of the Irish education system, Liz has forged ahead to heighten awareness of the effectiveness of the UDL approach, leading a CETB  Active Inclusion pilot with AHEAD (2017-2018) to promote inclusion and UDL as a uniquely effective approach to differentiated delivery which optimises student success, within personal capacity, without boundaries.  

Short Biography

Liz  Moynihan’s area of expertise lies in Education Leadership and she is Director of Kinsale College of Further Education, Cork since 2013. A former teacher of Maths, Science and Agricultural Science at St. Brogan’s College, Liz is passionate about education, with particular emphasis on ‘inclusion’ as a means of ensuring that each student reaches his/her personal best. In recognising the diversity of the modern-day education setting and its obvious implications for all aspects of teaching, learning and assessment. Liz has a Masters in Education Disadvantage from the University of Hull (UK), she has also built on her formative studies of a Bachelor of Science at the University of Limerick and a Post Graduate Diploma in Special Education from University College Cork, in her endeavours to advance Further Education as a means of equalising opportunity in preparation for the workplace, through applauding individualised learning. 

Link to presentation slides

Week 10 - Fri 29th May, 2.30 -Inclusive Mobility & Student Wellbeing                   

Talk 1

Name 

Dominique Montagnese & Valérie Van Hees, Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education

Title

Inclusive Mobility - Making Study Abroad Programmes More Inclusive for Students with Disabilities

Summary of session

The EPFIME project (InclusiveMobility.eu) aims at examining in-depth the needs and expectations on inclusive mobility of national authorities, students with disabilities and higher education institutions across Europe, while focusing on how national authorities and higher education institutions can collaborate more strongly to ensure the quality and the transferability of support services for both incoming and outgoing students with disabilities in exchange programmes. The results of the EPFIME research will be known at the beginning of 2020 and will be shared  through a short presentation . The recommendations of the Inclusive Mobility Alliance (IMA) on how to make Erasmus+ mobilities more inclusive will also be shared.

Short Biography.

Dominique Montagnese is an expert on Inclusive Mobility for Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO). He has been working with international mobility programmes for more than 10 years and with social inclusion in mobility for more than 6 years. Through his previous involvement in the Erasmus Student Network, he is the initiator of several projects linking disability and Erasmus+ mobilities, such as MapAbility, MappED! and the Inclusive Mobility Alliance. Dominique has also a trainer background and uses his facilitation skills to ensure full inclusion and participation in his workshops.

Valérie Van Hees is the coordinator of the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium) and has accumulated over 18 years of experience in the field of policy and services for minority groups 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 HEI staff. She is also affiliated to Ghent University, focusing on a research project on students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the transition from secondary school to higher education.

Talk 2

Name :

Rachel Davies, De Montfort University

Title: 

#Health DMU: A Whole Organisation Approach to Student Wellbeing:

Summary of session 

Outline the key features of the 2 year #HealthyDMU project which has embedded a whole organisation approach to student wellbeing in De Montfort University. We will also consider how this approach addresses a number of key concerns on the higher education agenda including how to address disability and BAME attainment gaps; value for money; and increasing mental health concerns among the student population. Briefly describe our recent research and the development of an ecological model which assists us in understanding students’ interactions across a variety of university services and functions.

Short Biography:

 

Rachel Davies, BA (hons), MA, PGCE, AMBDA. Rachel currently works as De Montfort University’s Course Specific Initiatives Officer. She is a dyslexia specialist teacher and assessor, with a wide range of experience in universities, further education, workplace learning and the voluntary sector. Publications: Dyslexia and transition: Making the move (2013), NIACE, Leicester; Supporting learners with dyslexia in workplace learning (co-author) (2008), NIACE, Leicester.

 

Talk 3

Name 


Marjolein Büscher-Touwen & Dr Karien Coppens, Expert Centre on Inclusive Education and Harriet Rempe, University of Applied Sciences Utreacht

Title: 

Do You Contribute to the Student Journey?

Summary of session

Which students are you dealing with? What key moments in the study process do they encounter? And how or what can you contribute to make this study process as smooth as possible?

In this interactive session, we first look at which students are in your class/whom are you dealing with? We create a number of personas in terms of: name - academic year - previous education – special needs – expectations and so on. Next, we examine the student journey: which are the key moments in the study process? From orientation and application to graduation and the transition to the first job.

Then we go to work: what do the different personas need during their student journey and what does that mean for the educational institution? And what can you do? We will share good practices en lessons learned from the Netherlands.

Short Biography

Marjolein Büscher-Touwen is senior consultant at Expert Centre on Inclusive Education. She stimulates and supports educational institutions in the development of inclusive education. Marjolein has experience with themes such as: accessible examination, the implementation of the UN-convention, professionalization of staff and the transition from education to the labour market. She graduated as a communication scientist and worked at the central counselling department of the VU University Amsterdam for several years having different roles: disability advisor, career counsellor and project manager. She also lived in Mozambique and was involved in projects of Handicap International. Marjolein is proactive and a result-, quality-, and people-oriented person.

Because of her broad research background (Communication, Educational Science, Economics of Education) Dr. Karien Coppens has a lot of experience with multidisciplinary projects. She likes to work with different partners and from different angles on educational issues. Always with the underlying idea that research, policy and practical experiences support and reinforce each other. And that combining expertise and experiences leads to development and/or sustainability. As a researcher, Karien has experience with themes such as inclusive education, educational quality and the use of data. She is a researcher who likes to connect and organise.

Harriet Remp is policy advisor at The University of Applied Sciences Utrecht.

 

Link to presentation slides

Student Exhibition -  Through The Looking Glass -AHEAD Student 2020 Exhibition

Text and Image Snapshots by Students with Disabilities

This presentation provides a selection of text and images received from students with disabilities from further and higher education which they submitted to give us a snapshot of their educational experience. The submissions were collected from students over the first semester of the 2019/2020 academic year.  There is an extended physical version of the exhibition produced by AHEAD which we hope to launch in the future. 

AHEAD would like to invite you to explore the diverse range of experiences shared by students with disabilities. Reflect on the rich personal insights these students are conveying and what they tell us about their perceptions of education including how we can develop it to be more inclusive in the future. 

Please click here to view The AHEAD Student Exhibition 2020

The Award for Universal Design for Learning

 About the John Kelly Award

The John Kelly Award for Universal Design for Learning recognises the innovative practice of teaching staff in further and higher education engaging with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to deliver a more inclusive learning experience for their students. It is targeted at practitioners who have demonstrated their emergent commitment to UDL by undertaking the Digital Badge for Universal Design in Teaching & Learning and making exciting changes to their practice as a result of their participation in the badge.
In this session, the shortlisted finalists for the 2020 award will showcase their work in front of a judging panel and the wider online conference audience.

Thank you

We want to thank all our contributors during this challenging time as we have migrated from a face to face conference to one that is online. It has been an incredible experience for all the AHEAD team to see the enthusiasm and support for this migration to an online conference.

Get involved

Be part of the dialogue and solutions around inclusion and follow us on Twitter @AHEADireland and use the #AHEAD2020. We want to hear about your experiences, opinions and thoughts about the sessions in the 10 weeks of webinars.

ahead2020

Welcome to the final week of the online AHEAD Conference