Safe Haven or Stormy Port? Exploring how tertiary education design impacts our health
Remote learning experiences during Covid-19 have compounded difficulties for some learners and eased them for others, underlining the important role that learning design has on the student learning experience (AHEAD 2020).
Pre-pandemic research in Ireland demonstrates that many higher education students experience extreme levels of anxiety (38.4%), depression (29.9%) and stress (17.3%). Furthermore, students with disabilities are significantly more likely to experience extreme anxiety (58.7%) than their peers (Price, Smith, & Kavalidou, 2019). While student physical and mental wellbeing is of course influenced and impacted by a wide range of personal factors (Price, Smith, & Kavalidou, 2019), it is also influenced by the learning environment that students must navigate (Dooley, O Connor, Fitzgerald & O’ Reilly 2019). This includes all elements of the education experience, from sense of belonging within the learning community, (Rath 2020) to the academic pressures students face both within and beyond the classroom.
The Safe Haven or Stormy Port conference seeks to explore the link between education design and student wellbeing. To date, welcome health and wellbeing initiatives have mainly focused on how to support students to better manage the anxiety, stress and poor physical health they may experience while participating in further and higher education.
The AHEAD 2022 conference shifts this focus to explore how the very design of learning environments can impact student wellbeing, raising a number of significant questions:
- How can education design positively impact student well-being?
- Can we work together across our colleges and centres to reduce any harmful impact on learners without reducing standards?
- Can a combination of universal design of the physical/digital environment, universal design for learning (UDL) in the classroom, and high-quality targeted student supports, create educational experiences wherein all students do not simply survive but have the space and opportunity to thrive?
- How can learners themselves be engaged in these processes of educational design? And how can inclusion and belonging be fostered across the full higher and further education experience?
In exploring the link between tertiary education design and physical/mental wellbeing, the Safe Haven or Stormy Port conference will showcase good practice in proactively and intentionally designing positive, inclusive tertiary education experiences for all, and efforts that include students as partners when doing so.
- AHEAD (2020). Learning from Home During Covid-19: A Survey of Irish FET and HE Students with Disabilities. Blackrock, Dublin.
- Dooley, B., O Connor, C., Fitzgerald, A. & O’ Reilly, A. (2019). My World Survey 2: The National Study of Youth Mental Health in Ireland. Dublin: UCD.
- Price, A., Smith,H.A., & Kavalidou, K. (2019). USI National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education, Dublin: Union of Students in Ireland.
- Rath, V. (2020) Social engagement experiences of disabled students in higher education in Ireland. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Trinity College Dublin.
This event takes place over 1 week, featuring live presentations and interactive discussions on the daily themes :
- Day 1 Safe Boarding for All: The Role of Digital and Physical Accessibility
- Day 2 The Winds of Change: Agile Student Support
- Day 3 Navigating Beyond the Horizon: International Mobility, Work Based Learning and Social Engagement
- Day 4 Testing the Waters: Innovative Student-Centred Assessment Design
- Day 5 Bending with the Breeze: Flexible Approaches to Teaching and Learning
Click the dropdowns below to explore the content for each day, or click on a day in the navigation bar above. Hover over speaker images to see speaker names, or click see full bio. If you click each presentation you will be able to see the zoom link, download the slides and access further resource links.
- Writing Good Alternative Text (Live Only)
Alistair McNaught, Alistair McNaught Consultancy Ltd
Alistair McNaught Alistair McNaught Consultancy Ltd
Alistair taught in further education for 20 years. His passion for giving students options, responsibility and independence led to the early adoption of e-learning across a large 6th form department. He moved into a national role with Becta in 2000 and in 2004 was appointed as a Senior Advisor for the Jisc TechDis service, advising the post-16 sector in using technology to support disabled students. Since 2000, he has supported every flavour of post-16 education from work-based learning to universities, offender learning to FE and adult community learning. He left Jisc in 2019 to work as an independent consultant.
- Student Project on the wheelchair accessibility of university buildings
Ellen van Veen, Dutch Expert Centre on Inclusive Education (ECIO)
Ellen van Veen Dutch Expert Centre on Inclusive Education (ECIO)
Ellen van Veen works as a consultant at the Expert Centre on Inclusive Education (ECIO) in the Netherlands. She supports Dutch higher education institutions in their development towards inclusive education. Her projects are related to the implementation of the UN convention, UDL, accessible examination and student participation.
Renate Bosman Universiteit Utrecht
Renate Bosman, student Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. She is a board member of studying without limitations, a peer-to-peer student organisation for and by students with a disability. She coordinates the buddy programme for students with a disability, but also helped with conducting the wheelchair accessibility project at the university.
Denise Langreder Universiteit Utrecht
Denise Langreder studies Veterinary Medicine. She is also a member of studying without limitations, in which she has been involved since the foundation of this organization. She has helped with several projects and often shares her own experiences of studying with a disability.
- TCDSense – The Trinity Sensory Processing Project
Kieran Lewis, Senior Occupational Therapist, Trinity College Dublin
Kieran Lewis Senior Occupational Therapist, Trinity College Dublin
Kieran is a Senior Occupational Therapist within the Disability Service in Trinity College Dublin and for the last two years has been a project officer within the Genio Funded project, Career Pathways. Kieran is also the lead on phase three activities within the Disability Service strategic plan, which focus upon the student’s transition to employment. Kieran holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and is currently undertaking PhD Research into the development and efficacy of an occupation-focused self-management programme.
Jessica Doyle Trinity College Dublin
Jessica K is Autistic, an international researcher passionate about engaging in investigations on sensory perception. Jessica K has attained an honours B.A. in psychology. Jessica K works as a Project Officer at TCD Sense, an Assistant Psychologist at the Adult Autism Practice, A Director of Thriving Autistic and an Autism Consultant.
Declan Treanor Director Disability Service, Trinity College Dublin; Chair of DAWN
Declan has been working in Trinity since the Disability Service was set up in June 2000. He has responsibility for ensuring that the College embeds disability related issues into the core of all thinking and delivery to ensure that the College environment is as accessible to people with disabilities as possible. Declan has an extensive educational history which includes a B Sc. in Science for NUI Galway, a Master’s in Social Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Trinity College Dublin. Declan is the Disability Officer for staff in College and for students who are D/deaf and Students with Autism Spectrum and Asperger’s Syndrome. Declan completed the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Generic (ADOS-G), a direct observational assessment used to assist in the diagnosis of autism, and the Advanced Postgraduate Certificate in Autistic Spectrum Disorder at Queen’s University Belfast.
- Inclusion in the DNA of CHARM-EU - strategies for inclusion of universities in the 21st century
Agnes Sarolta Fazekas, EÃ¶tvÃ¶s LorÃ¡nd University BÃ¡rczi GusztÃ¡v Faculty of Special Needs, Budapest, Hungary
Agnes Sarolta Fazekas Eötvös Loránd University Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs, Budapest, Hungary
Agnes Sarolta Fazekas (she/her) is Assistant Professor at Eötvös Loránd University Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs, Budapest, Hungary. Since 2019, Agnes has been leading the Inclusiveness Work Package of the CHARM-EU Alliance (https://www.charm-eu.eu/). She has also works as a programming team member and trainer with the Council of Europe Youth Department since 2014.
Derina Johnson Trinity College Dublin
Derina Johnson is project manager of the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project within the Equality Diversity and Inclusive Office, Trinity College Dublin. She is a team member of Work Package 6 Inclusiveness of the CHARM-EU Alliance. Her background lies in Psychology and Psychotherapy, and she holds a PhD from the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Her PhD explored the lives of young migrants and refugees growing up in extreme marginalisation and lack of legal documentation on the Thailand-Myanmar border, where Derina worked for a number of years.
- Blended learning – a new learning path for young people with intellectual disability
Imelda Fitzpatrick, Blossom Ireland
Imelda Fitzpatrick Blossom Ireland
Imelda Fitzpatrick is the Programme Director with Blossom Ireland, an educational service for young people with an intellectual disability. She has spent the past eighteen years working in the area of behavioural psychology and education. Imelda is passionate about equal opportunity in education for neurodivergent young people and inclusive educational practices. She also the proud mum to a neurodivergent child her best educator yet.
Maja Trninic Blossom Ireland
Maja is an Educational Programme Coordinator with Blossom Ireland, where she works with young people with intellectual disabilities, supporting them in their path to independence and personal development. She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a background in the educational and disability sectors. She’s a passionate human rights advocate, bookworm, and nature lover.
- Microsoft | Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education
Cathal OâConnor, Microsoft Ireland and part-time PhD student in UCD
Cathal O’Connor Microsoft Ireland and part-time PhD student in UCD
Cathal O’Connor is a Principal Data Scientist with 15 years at Microsoft and 25+ years industry experience. Cathal earned an honours bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Trinity College Dublin, and a master's degree in business administration (MBA) from FAU. Cathal is currently pursuing a PhD part-time in inclusive learning using intelligent technologies at UCD under the supervision of Assistant Professor Dr. Anthony Cronin.
- Panel of Irish FET/HE Projects - Democratising wellbeing and accessibility supports
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.
Angela Stewart Maynooth University
Angela Stewart is a Project Manager in National Learning Network. She is currently managing the Inclusive Learning Project, a HEA funded initiative in Maynooth University (MU). With her background in psychology, behaviour analysis and research, Angela has provided a range of research, training, and consultancy services to state bodies, private companies, and not-for-profit organisations. She has led on the design and development of various technical projects and models of service to support the participation of underrepresented groups in further education and training, higher education, and work.
Previously, Angela worked in several face-to-face, person-centered support services. This included Student Central in MU, where she provided psychology-led supports to students with a wide range of disabilities. Student Central is a specialist, face-to-face support service that uses psychological theory and practical techniques to assist students to overcome challenges they may face in maintaining wellbeing and developing their academic and social skills. Strand 1 of the Inclusive Learning Project is expanding existing Student Central supports, merging them with Assistive Technology supports, and turning them into digital learning resources that can be accessed by all MU students.
Leah Kane Maynooth University
Leah Kane is an Education Technologist working on the Inclusive Learning Project. Prior to working with National Learning Network and Maynooth University, Leah worked in Dublin City University's Ideas Lab in the National Institute for Digital Learning. She has worked across a broad range of disciplines, using her media skills to digitally enhance the learning experience for learners. Leah has a passion for education and inclusive design in e-learning. Leah has also previously worked and volunteered in DCU's Access service for many years during her time at university. Leah holds an MSc in Emerging Media and has a BA in English Literature and Media Studies from Dublin City University. Leah is currently pursuing a Higher Diploma in Interaction Design at DCU.
Treasa McGinley Donegal ETB
Treasa Mc Ginley is the Technology Enhanced Coordinator in Donegal ETBs FET Service since October 2019, prior to that position, she has worked in Donegal ETB's Literacy programme and Youthreach programme. Her background is in Psychology and in more recent times she has developed a keen interest in educational technologies to enhance the teaching and learning experience for all students.
Dipankar Biswas Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board
Dipankar is an adult tutor working in the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. My organisation is part of the further education and training sector. His current role is that of learner support and active inclusion and involves supporting learners with physical and cognitive disabilities, learning difficulties, digital poverty and literacy and numeracy needs. His role also includes supporting tutors in technology enhanced learning methodology for better integration of digital learning. He has previously worked in Core skills dealing with adult basic education and family learning.
He is also a psychotherapist working with adults and adolescents suffering from mental health difficulties and challenging life circumstances.
- Trevor Boland, Dublin City University Thomas O Shaughnessy, University of Limerick
Thomas O Shaughnessy University of Limerick
Assistive Technology Officer at the University of Limerick for over 13 years. PhD candidate researching assistive technology in Initial Teacher Education. Background in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Guest speaker/lecture on UDL, Accessibility and Assistive Technology on different courses, including the MA in Technical Communication and E-Learning, Graduate Diploma in Mentoring & Leadership in Education (MIC), MSc in Speech & Language Therapy and in Inclusive Education (Teacher Education). Manage the purpose-built Educational Assistive Technology Centre (EATC). Member of the UL Web Group and current chair of the Web Accessibility subgroup. Collaborator on the INCLUDE2020 UDL initiative, UDL Badge Facilitator.
- Empowering Students with Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)
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.
- Discover AT - giving students agency through self guided assistive technology exploration
- How to use virtual reality in VET, for teachers & trainers, in particular with SEN students
Ann Burns, Cork Education and Training Board (CETB)
Ann Burns Cork Education and Training Board (CETB)
Ann Burns is a visual artist from North Cork. Her work explores sensory perception in VR through Rhythmanalysis. As part of CETB, she brings 25 years of teaching art in the disability and FE sector. She has a 1st class Hons in Visual Art and Masters in Art & Environment.
Siobhan Nolan Cork Education and Training Board (CETB)
Siobhan Nolan B.Ed, M.A. Graduated in 1996 with a teaching qualification in Home Economics and Biology. Completed a Masters in Digital Media, Technology in Education. Taught for 25 years, in College of Commerce as further Education Teacher. Tutor in Higher Education.
- A review of The Prepare Entry Guide - a resource developed for students with autism new to higher education
Dr Rebekah Brennan, University College Cork
Dr Rebekah Brennan University College Cork
Dr. Rebekah Brennan is an experienced and widely published qualitative independent and postdoctoral researcher. She is the lead researcher on the SOAR project at UCC which seeks to improve access to higher education for underserved groups. Dr. Brennan is a lecturer/board member at Adult Continuing Education (ACE) on Level 7 Substance Use and Addiction Studies Diploma at University College Cork (UCC) and also Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in Responding to Problem Gambling for Addiction Counsellors QQI Level 8. She is also a lecturer at An Cosan Higher Education, Tallaght, Dublin 24, who use a transformative education model for teaching and learning on the Level 7 Applied Addiction Studies and Community Development BA degree, where she also performs programmatic review and strategic planning for the development of the Higher Education team. She is an external panel lecturer in addiction at Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership, Dublin 10. Dr. Brennan holds a PhD by research in drug sociology from Waterford Institute of Technology (graduated October 2018). She is a former Irish Research Council Scholarship awardee (2013). She holds a BA (Hons) in Addiction Counselling (1.1). She has been a podcast guest for EPIC (Empowering People in Care) and her research has featured on RTE Brainstorm and the Irish Examiner. Her research interests include: substance use; community development; underserved groups and human rights.
Julie O'Donovan Munster Technology University Cork campus
Julie is an Occupational Therapist (OT) with a background working in community mental health services. As an OT she has worked for the North East London Mental Health Trust, NHS and for Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service, Queensland Health, Australia. Prior to training as an OT Julie worked in the print media industry in a variety of roles. Julie holds a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy from Canterbury Christ Church University, UK (2006) and is a CIT graduate with a Diploma in Design for Printing (1997).
Julie has an interest in communication, design and advocacy and its role in service development as a result of working in mental health and homelessness services. She brings her educational and professional experiences to support the development of the MTU Enabling Transition project.
- Trinity Disability Service Neurodivergent Project
Clare Malone, Occupational Therapist & Disability Officer, Trinity Disability Service
Clare Malone Occupational Therapist & Disability Officer, Trinity Disability Service
Claire is an occupational Therapist and Disability Officer who joined the Disability Service in November 2017. Clare graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy in 2014 and has since worked in a range of healthcare areas including Adult Intellectual Disability, Acquired Brain Injury and Mental Health. Clare is the Disability Service lead on Pre-Entry to First Year Experience Activities and has also worked on initiatives to promote student partnership with the Disability Service, including leading the Disability Student Ambassador Programme and collaborating with the Trinity Ability Co-Op.
- How student partnership enhances disability support
Declan Treanor, Director Disability Service, Trinity College Dublin; Chair of DAWN Courtney McGrath, Trinity College Dublin
Courtney McGrath Trinity College Dublin
Courtney is the Graduate Intern for the Trinity Disability Service until June 2022. Courtney graduated with a B.A. Honours Bachelor's Degree in Business and Social Studies (B.E.S.S.) from Trinity College Dublin in 2021. Courtney has previously worked for the Disability Service as a Summer Intern in 2020.
As a person with profound hearing loss, Courtney has first-hand experience of what it is like to have a disability in higher education and has been involved in positions such as the Student's Union Officer for Students with Disabilities, and Chairperson of Trinity Sign Language society, to learn more about the obstacles students with disabilities face in university.
Courtney is particularly interested in the engagement of students with disabilities with wider campus life, as it is crucial for student development and to explore interests outside of academic work. Make an appointment to discuss Student Development and Engagement here.
- Dr Richard Healy, Research and Policy Officer, AHEAD
Dr Richard Healy Research and Policy Officer, AHEAD
Richard is the new Research and Policy Officer at AHEAD, having taken up the role in May 2021. He has previously worked in Maynooth University, SURIA and for the Irish Prison Service, assisting prisoners post release to access employment and housing. Most of Richard’s work previous to AHEAD has been based on the realization of human rights and the attainment of tangible entitlements for vulnerable people.
- Creating Inclusive Conditions to Learn, Work, or Volunteer Abroad (Live Only)
Lorraine Gallagher, Information and Training Officer, AHEAD
Lorraine Gallagher Information and Training Officer, AHEAD
Lorraine Gallagher has a Masters in Fine Art. She has worked in the area of disability equality for many years and is currently the Information & Training Officer for AHEAD. Prior to working for AHEAD Lorraine worked as research assistant and co-facilitator to Peter Kearns at The Workhouse. She also worked as the disability equality trainer on Music Map, a music management course run by the City Arts Centre.
Hannah Kelly Student and Graduate Engagement Officer, AHEAD
Hannah (she/her) is the Student and Graduate Engagement Officer in AHEAD. Her role involves working to include the student voice in the work of AHEAD and creating inclusive environments for disabled students in extracurricular settings. As part of her role, she was the co-founder and now coordinator of the USI/AHEAD Students with Disabilities Advisory group. This group helps to inform the strategy and policy of AHEAD and USI concerning the inclusion of students with disabilities in HE and FE. Outside of her work with AHEAD, Hannah is a volunteer with Dublin Lesbian Line and is a public speaker, particularly in the areas of intersectionality and inclusion.
- Trinity Employability: Disability Inclusion Pathway
Eithne Coleman, Trinity College Dublin
Eithne Coleman Trinity College Dublin
Eithne is an Occupational Therapist and Disability Officer with the Trinity Disability Service. Eithne graduated with a B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy from York St. John University in the U.K. in 2017 and has since worked in a range of healthcare settings to include complex inpatient Eating Disorders (mental health), and disability support in Higher Education (UCD & TCD).
Having first-hand experience of disability support in HEIs, Eithne has particular interest in the OT supports of students with ASD and has further continued her studies in this area since graduation, completing Sensory Integration modules 1 and 2 with Ulster University (2018-2019), and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - 2 (ADOS-2) training (an instrument used to support the diagnosis and assessment of autism) with the Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin (2019). Eithne hopes to bring this experience into her everyday work with students with a wide variety of occupational needs. Of recent, Eithne has focused her work on the area of transition to employment for students with disabilities and has lead the Disability Inclusion Programme in collaboration with Trinity Careers Service.
Eithne is a member of the AOTI (Association of Occupational Therapists in Ireland) and is registered with CORU, the regulatory body for health and social care professionals.
- Game On; Designing inclusive curriculum using gaming and esports to promote health and wellbeing and develop pathways to work
Sinead Hosey, Epic Global â esports and gaming agency
Sinead Hosey Epic Global – esports and gaming agency
Sinead has worked across Tech industry for over 16 years helping brands from Vodafone to Huawei grow in the Consumer space. She set up Epic Global with co-founder Trev Keane, to help brands, rightsholders and athletes navigate the world of esports and gaming. Clients include Jesse Lingard, Munster Rugby Gaming and now Rehab Group.
Anne Marie McDonnell National Learning Network
Anne Marie McDonnell is Head of Service Design with Rehab Group. She is a qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with over 20 years’ experience in delivery and management of inclusive training and employment services. She also worked as a consultant in MENA on the introduction of Disability Inclusive Public Employment Services.
- Ready, Steady, Work Career Programme for Disabled Students
Laura Coleman, MTU
Laura Coleman MTU
Laura Coleman has worked as MTU Cork Disability Officer for 12 years and manages a dedicated team of staff in the DSS. Laura is a member of the board of directors of AHEAD and numerous groups for DARE. Laura is currently studying the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and has an BA Hons Degree in Applied Social Studies in Social Care.
Olga Mitchell Careers Service MTU Cork
Olga Mitchell is a Career Advisor with the Careers Service in MTU Cork. Olga works to support students to reflect on and develop their career pathway and set self-directed goals with intention. She is invested in supporting all abilities in recognising the amazing strength diversity offers any organisation. Olga holds an MA in Applied Psychology and a Professional Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, among other qualifications in science and engineering.
- Dream To Drive – A Technology Enhanced Learning Experience in Driver Safety
Damien Allard, National Learning Network (Mullingar Centre)
Damien Allard National Learning Network (Mullingar Centre)
Damien has 20 years’ experience in training & delivery in both the Public and Private sectors with particular focus on training unemployed people and people with a disability. He is a firm believer in learning through Gamification and engaging students in their learning world. He currently delivers and manages a highly successful programme for 18 – 25 tear olds called Skills for Life and incorporates the gaming and Digital Media world into his training. This Skills for Life programme in Mullingar was created and developed by Damien and has now gone Nationwide across various National Learning Centres throughout Ireland.
Ronan Fox National Learning Network (Mullingar Centre)
Ronan has vast experience in training delivery, digital media, digital marketing, music production and podcast production. He is also a qualified digital marketer. Ronan has a particular interest in the Irish gaming industry and streams and creates content for a highly successful gaming company called Legion Arena. Ronan has been teaching young people how to pursue a career in digital media for several years. He now delivers and manages an innovative programme for young adults between the age of 17 to 25 called Skills Bridge which supports young people with disabilities to gain independent living skills with a fun person-centred approach using of digital media.
- Disabled Student Voices on Professional Placement
Barbara Waters, Journal Editor, AHEAD
Barbara Waters Journal Editor, AHEAD
Barbara Waters is the Project Lead on the Reasonable Accommodations, Professional Placements (RAPP) Project, Barbara was Chief Executive of Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, UK. 1996- 2010. Barbara represented Skill nationally on policy issues in education and disability related to post 16 education, training and employment. Since 2010 Barbara has worked as a researcher on further and higher education and disability. She was part of the LINK European network concerned with disabled students in higher education and has undertaken research on competence standards and learning outcomes in higher education for the Equality Challenge Unit, UK, published in 2015, looking particularly at Nursing, Teaching, Foreign Languages and STEM subjects. She was the evaluator of the Erasmus + programme on Universal Design for Learning completed in October 2016, and rapporteur for AHEAD Ireland in the MappED access programme with the Erasmus Student Network in 2017. Currently, she is the editor of the peer to peer Journal for AHEAD Ireland. She has an MA in Business and Public Sector Strategy and received an honorary doctorate from the Open University, UK.
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.
- Offering Equitable Choice in Assessment (Live Only)
Geraldine O'Neill, University College Dublin
Geraldine O'Neill University College Dublin
Geraldine is an Associate Professor, Educational Developer and is Programme Director of the accredited programmes in University Teaching and Learning in UCD. She worked for two years in the National Forum leading the Assessment Enhancement theme. Her key role is to support staff in the design, implementation and evaluation of their programmes and modules. She has particular practical and research expertise in the area of inclusive assessment and feedback.
Dr Lisa Padden University College Dublin
Dr Lisa Padden has worked in University College Dublin (UCD) since 2012 and her current role is as Programme Manager for UCD’s University for All initiative, based in UCD Access & Lifelong Learning. University for All is UCD’s whole-institution approach to student inclusion encompassing strategy and policy, teaching, learning and assessment, student supports and services, the built environment and technological infrastructure. Lisa worked with AHEAD to develop the Digital Badge for Universal Design in Teaching & Learning as part of the National Forum's Professional Development Framework. Lisa has been lead editor on three collections of UDL Case Studies and co-wrote the Toolkit for Inclusive Higher Education Institutions. Lisa’s research interests include Universal Design for Learning, widening participation, equitable access to education, and student inclusion
- Accessibility in team work in post-secondary education: Using UDL to navigate a complex tension in pedagogical objectives
Dr Frederic Fovet, Associate Professor, School of Education and Technology, Royal Roads University
Dr Frederic Fovet Associate Professor, School of Education and Technology, Royal Roads University
Frederic's research and practice both focus on Inclusion and UDL. Frederic has been offering Masters level courses in Education for six years now. He focuses on both offering UDL expertise in his courses and modelling UDL in his own course design.
- Design and Implementation of a Professional Development Offering for Inclusive Assessment in Higher Education
Siobhan O'Neill, Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning at UCC
Siobhan O'Neill Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning at UCC
Siobhán O’Neill is a Research Support Officer in the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning at UCC. Siobhán is currently working on inclusive assessment initiative which aims to develop a professional development offering for teaching staff. Siobhán’s research interests include exploring innovative and creative approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment.
Dr Laura Lee Research Support Officer in the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, University College Cork
Dr Laura Lee is a Research Support Officer in the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning at UCC. Laura co-facilitates the Digital Badge in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in UCC. She is currently leading an initiative that will ensure that the principles of UDL and UD are woven into teaching and learning activities as well as the broader institutional environment and workings.
- Universal Design for Learning encourages assessment by design, but what exactly does this mean for educators? (Cast, 2015)?
Dr Brian Butler, Advisor for Inclusive Education and Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Fellow, University College Cork
Dr Brian Butler Advisor for Inclusive Education and Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Fellow, University College Cork
Dr Brian Butler works with the Disability Support Service and is the Advisor for Inclusive Learning and Teaching 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 Laura have co-facilitated the Digital Badge in Universal Design for Learning for three years.
- Academic Integrity - upholding our end of the bargain through offering choice in assessment
Dara Ryder, CEO, AHEAD
Dara Ryder CEO, AHEAD
Dara Ryder is Chief Executive Officer of AHEAD, having previously managed AHEAD’s digital presence and developed a suite of online CPD programmes relating to inclusive practice in his role as Digital Media and eLearning Manager there.
After graduating from Queens University in 2005, Dara joined Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education as a lecturer, where he became interested in inclusive education when working first-hand with students with disabilities in his classroom. When the opportunity arose in 2008, he joined AHEAD where he has been working ever since on creating inclusive environments in education and employment for people with disabilities.
- Exploring ungrading for inclusion - what is it and how does it work?
Jesse Stommel, University of Denver
Jesse Stommel University of Denver
Jesse Stommel, Ph.D. is a faculty member in the Writing Program at University of Denver. He is co-founder of Digital Pedagogy Lab and Hybrid Pedagogy: the journal of critical digital pedagogy, and he earned his Ph.D. from University of Colorado Boulder. Stommel is co-author of An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy, co-editor of Disrupting the Digital Humanities, and co-editor of Critical Digital Pedagogy: a Collection. He is best known for his work as a champion of teachers and students in higher education, and he is an affiliate of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice founded by Sara Goldrick-Rab, Ph.D. to support #RealCollege students.
An award-winning teacher, Stommel has taught for over 20 years in humanities disciplines in eight departments at six institutions, and he has designed over 30 courses in a range of subjects, including literature, writing, documentary film, and digital studies. Stommel’s work has drawn national and international attention: he has been invited to give keynotes and plenary talks by the Higher Education Academy, Coventry University, Duke University, Stanford University, BCcampus, Open University, and presented workshops at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), Lewis and Clark College, Guilford College, LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore, University of Warwick, and more. Stommel has also published over 15 articles in peer-reviewed books and journals.
Stommel is a documentary filmmaker and teaches courses about pedagogy, film, and new media. He experiments relentlessly with learning interfaces, both digital and analog, and his research focuses on higher education pedagogy, critical digital pedagogy, and assessment.
In 2011, Stommel founded the Hybrid Pedagogy 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In addition to acting as executive director, his work for Hybrid Pedagogy has included creating educational outreach and professional development opportunities for new and experienced teachers. In 2015, he co-founded Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL), a series of on-ground intensives focused on critical digital pedagogy. Through DPL, he has offered 2-, 3-, and 5-day pedagogical development events at the American University in Cairo, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Delaware, University of Mary Washington, University of Colorado, University of Warwick, Open University, and more.
An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy (with Sean Michael Morris), considers how technology (both digital and analogue) changes the work of education. Ultimately, the book argues that education should look to community over content delivery, dialogue over algorithms, human teachers over teaching machines. Along the way, it explores the history of educational technology, innovative teaching practices in higher education and beyond, education as a social good, and the need for inclusive pedagogies. Stommel co-edited with Dorothy Kim Disrupting the Digital Humanities. It includes academic and non-academic writing about the intersections and frictions between the digital humanities, inclusive pedagogies, accessibility, feminist theory, queer theory, and critical race theory.
Stommel has taught undergraduate and graduate students at large research institutions, liberal arts colleges, and a community college, as well as non-traditional adult students and teachers at all levels of education. He has taught face-to-face, hybrid, online, and several MOOCs, including a Coursera MOOC with over 25,000 students from 161 countries.
Stommel has done faculty development work since 2003. Most recently, he has taught courses for teachers, technologists, and administrators in higher education pedagogy, critical digital pedagogy, writing about teaching, and assessment. He has an extensive background in education administration beginning in 2003. He has designed and worked to implement several new undergraduate and graduate programs.
Stommel was most previously a faculty member at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Stommel has a rascal pup, Emily, a clever cat, Loki, and a badass daughter, Hazel.
- Carrie Archer, City of Dublin Education and Training Board
Carrie Archer City of Dublin Education and Training Board
Carrie is the PD coordinator for CDETB. Her interests are Professional Learning and Development, Communities of Practice, Universal Design for Learning and supporting inclusion, diversity, social justice and the visibility of LGBTQI+ learners within the FET sector. She facilitates a Professional Learning Network (coordinated by CDETB's psychological service) for Learner Support educators in PLC colleges. She is a Mentor in TEL and works closely with a network of other TEL mentors in FET colleges/centres.
Tommy Crampton AHEAD Ireland
Tommy Crampton has worked in the fields of education, training and disability for over 25 years in UK and Ireland.
Tommy managed a centre for the Central Remedial Clinic (Coolock) based in Dublin providing day services for 55 adults with varying disabilities, funded by HSE. After 24 years Tommy moved on from the CRC and is now working as Education Manager at AHEAD. Tommy holds a Masters Degree in Education and Training - DCU Dublin.
- Clarity for Inclusive Engagement - laying out your VLE course page
Jennifer Pusateri, University of Kentucky
Jennifer Pusateri University of Kentucky
Jennifer Pusateri is the Universal Design Consultant for the University of Kentucky's Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) where she fosters the advancement of accessibility and inclusive teaching practices across campus. Jennifer previously served as the co-chair and charter member of the international UDLHE (UDL in Higher Ed.) Network. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kentucky, studying Educational Sciences with a concentration on Curriculum & Instruction.
As a member of the prestigious CAST National Faculty, Jennifer regularly presents UDL workshops and webinars for school districts, college faculty, and state boards of education across the United States. Pusateri has also been featured as a guest UDL specialist in podcasts such as Think UDL and Teaching in Higher Ed.
Before arriving at the University of Kentucky, Jennifer worked for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) where she served as an education consultant and specialist in differentiated learning and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Jennifer taught Arts & Humanities for grades K-8 at a nationally recognized school for students with specific learning disabilities (SLD) in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Raising awareness of dyscalculia to support teaching and learning
Ruth Murphy, Disability Projects Co-ordinator, Munster Technological University (MTU) (previously Cork Institute of Technology)
Ruth Murphy Disability Projects Co-ordinator, Munster Technological University (MTU) (previously Cork Institute of Technology)
Ruth Murphy has worked with the MTU Disability Support Service (DSS) in Cork for over 11 years. This has included developing post-entry supports for students with disabilities, and pre-entry initiatives such as introducing the DARE scheme to the university. Her qualifications include an MSc in Information and Library Studies, Diploma in Disability Studies, Diploma in Autism Studies (to be completed in 2021), Certificate of Competency in Educational Testing and is currently studying an MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in MTU. Her research interests include students with disabilities and access and progression in higher education.
Deirdre Casey MTU
Deirdre Casey is coordinator of the MTU Academic Learning Centre since 2019 and part of the MTU Raising Awareness around Dyscalculia project. Previously she worked as a Maths lecturer and support tutor in MTU. Deirdre has a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and an MSc in Mathematical modelling and Scientific Computing.
- Using film within an inclusive approach to delivery in graduate education: a too often ignored gap in the UDL scholarship?
- The Hobby Shed – our Safe Haven for co-production in a shared virtual teaching and learning space
Fiona McCoy, National Learning Network
Fiona McCoy National Learning Network
National Learning Networks mission is to promote equality by providing world-class training, education and employment access services, and by actively influencing the creation of a more inclusive society. The Hobby shed is a collaboration of staff and students from National Learning Network Athlone. The Hobby shed promotes inclusion and a safe port for students and staff to showcase their talents.
- “Be Stubborn About Your Goals, But Flexible About Your Methods”
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)
Following almost 20 years in Higher Education, Siobhan Magner moved to Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) and the Further Education and Training sector in 2017 to support ETBs in the area of new apprenticeship design and development.
In 2019 she moved to Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board where she holds the post of National Programme Manager for the Sales Apprenticeship. She was recently promoted to Assistant Manager of Sligo Training Centre with strategic and operational management of new apprenticeships in MSLETB.
Her research interests include work-based learning initiatives, innovative assessment strategies and entrepreneurial education.
Edel Gavan Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB)
Edel is passionate about the flexible learning opportunities technology can bring to communities. She was first drawn to blended learning because of the opportunities it afforded rural areas. She has over 15 years of experience working within the technology industry most significantly with Hibernia College, an early leader in blended education in Ireland. Her areas of interest include finding creative solutions to problems, student-centred learning, universal design for learning and digital portfolios.
She has an MSc in Applied eLearning from Dublin Institute of Technology and a BA (Hons) Business and Marketing from the University of Wales.
She has recently completed a Level 9 Certificate in Programme Design and Validation for FET with Maynooth University and is a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE). She was the regional winner of the Employee Rising Star Award at the Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2021. She is also currently taking part in the UCD Professional Certificate in Creativity & Innovation for Education.
Lorraine Devaney Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB)
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.
With over 20 years’ experience working in the education sector, she has worked extensively as an IT Trainer delivering both traditional classroom and blended courses to a range of diverse learners. Previously Lorraine worked as a Content Writer, working as part of a multidisciplinary team to develop a variety of e-learning courses.
She was awarded a Masters in Multimedia Technology from University College Cork, a Higher Diploma in Education from University College Dublin, as well as Foundation Diploma in Training and Education, and Assessment Theory and Practice from NUI Galway.
- Why Universal Design for Learning Works
Ron B. Rogers, OCALI
Ron B. Rogers OCALI
Ron B. Rogers, Ed.D works with the finest educators in the U.S. Ron leads Ohio’s UDL Collaborative, the #UDLchat on Twitter and Co-hosts “10 Minutes with Barb and Ron” an educationally centered YouTube channel. Presently Ron is the Program Director for the UDL Center at OCALI.
Colleen Kornish State Support Team 9, the Ohio UDL Collaborative
Colleen Kornish is an educational consultant and coach with Ohio’s State Support Team in Region 9. Her role focuses on leadership and team development, as well as, inclusive instructional practices to ensure that each child in Ohio has access to a high-quality education. Colleen is passionate about Universal Design for Learning because it honors and celebrates the diverse interests and unique talents of ALL. She is a member of the Ohio UDL Collaborative and provides professional learning opportunities for educators on UDL. Before joining SST9, Colleen was an elementary school principal. She is a mom to two middle schoolers, Owen and Bea. She loves learning, coffee, connecting with others, and morning hikes with her dog, Frank.
- HyFlex Learning Serves Everybody - Student-directed Learning Model
Dr Brian Beatty, San Sanfrisco State University
Dr Brian Beatty San Sanfrisco State University
Dr. Brian Beatty is Associate Professor of Instructional Technologies in the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University. Brian’s primary areas of interest and research include social interaction in online learning, flipped classroom implementation, and developing instructional design theory for Hybrid-Flexible learning environments. At SFSU, Dr. Beatty pioneered the development and evaluation of the HyFlex course design model for blended learning environments, implementing a “student-directed-hybrid” approach to better support student learning.
Previously (2012 – 2020), Brian was Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Operations at San Francisco State University (SFSU), overseeing the Academic Technology unit and coordinating the use of technology in the academic programs across the university. He worked closely with IT professionals and leaders in other units to coordinate overall information technology strategic management at SFSU. Prior to 2012, Brian was Associate Professor and Chair of the Instructional Technologies department in the Graduate College of Education at SFSU. He received his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2002. Dr. Beatty also holds several CA single-subject teaching credentials, an M.A. in Instructional Technologies from SF State and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University. Dr. Beatty has more than 25 years’ experience as a classroom teacher, trainer, and instructional designer at schools, businesses, and the US Navy.
- Dr Mark Glynn, Head of Teaching Enhancement Unit, Dublin City University
Dr Mark Glynn Head of Teaching Enhancement Unit, Dublin City University
Dr Mark Glynn currently leads a team charged with enhancing the learning experience of students within DCU. As such Mark has direct involvement with cutting edge innovative teaching techniques and learning technologies that are being implemented throughout the University. Furthermore, Mark plays a key role in both local and national strategically important teaching initiatives. Mark has organised a range of national and international teaching and learning conferences for higher education. The main aim of his current role is to encourage and enable staff in DCU to increase their capacity to offer flexible learning.