He is the pioneer of the cross-disability movement in India. He has successfully led several advocacy initiatives in India, including the drafting and enactment of the Disability Act of 1995, India’s ratification of CRPD in 2007, and setting up of a separate Department of Disability Affairs by the Government of India. He strongly believes that the voice of disability should always first focus on the global South where nearly 800 million of the world’s 1 billion people with disabilities live.
Shadi Abou-Zahra works with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) as Activity Lead of the WAI International Program Office. Shadi coordinates WAI outreach in Europe, web accessibility evaluation techniques, and international standards promotion and harmonization activities. He is the scientific coordinator of the EC-funded projects WAI-ACT and WAI-DEV, and editor and staff contact for the W3C/WAI Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG).
Anjlee Agarwal is accessibility consultant, researcher and author, well-known in Asia Pacific. She is co-founder Samarthyam, a disabled persons organization whose goal is to promote the understanding and implementation of accessibility of the sustainable built, social and virtual environments, using the guiding principles of Universal Design. As a woman with disability herself and Post Graduation in Human Rights, she has organized several mass awareness campaigns in India on social issues. She has also authored more than 74 papers on universal design and accessibility, which are published in international and national journals.
With over 20 years of experience in the voluntary sector, Constance is a Senior Programme Manager leading on International Development and UK Prizes. Since joining the Centre in 2012, Constance has developed and delivered a number of challenges. She provide a range of consultancy services in strategic application of challenges, capacity development and design and delivery of challenges.Constance previously managed a £50million match fund programme at vinspired, worked with the Greater London Authority and has headed up youth volunteering and grant management programmes. She also spent a number of years working for TimeBank and Mind, the mental health charity.
Mr. Mukhtar AlShibani is currently the President of GAATES, and is a member of the ISO Committee TC59/SC16 Accessibility and Usability of the Build Environment. Mr. Mukhtar Al Shibani established Almodon Consulting office for the disabled and elderly people, Jeddah, KSA in order to provide services in architectural design in the Arab Region. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Saudi Umran Society, was a member of the Saudi National Consulting Committee for setting the national assembly for disabled, and a member of the consulting committee, Prince Salman Research Center for the Disabled.
Ghadeer Al Haris is a professional in inclusive education, with formal training in Speech and Language Pathology at a master’s level. She currently serves as Media Spokesperson and Director of the Educational Programmes Department at Jordan’s Higher Council for Affairs of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) , the country’s national policy think-tank on disability issues, a position she has held since 2009. Prior to that, she has assumed positions including Senior Speech Pathologist in the Disabled Children’s Association of Saudi Arabia and as a teacher at the Ministry of Education in Jordan. Al Hares was recently awarded as the Ideal Employee/leadership category from Civil Services Bureau for the year 2014.
Latifa Bent Thanyan Bin Mohammed Al Saud is the Chair person and Founder of the Saudi Association of Parents of People with a Disability. She is the mother of a boy with autism. She holds a number of different courses and is recipient of many honorary awards in the fields of anti-discrimination against persons with disabilities. She holds an award of excellence from the Shura Council in Saudi Arabia. She was awarded Pioneer Benefactor for the Arab world. She is Member of the Saudi Association for Autism, the Gulf Association for Autism, the Arabian Autism Network and the Advisory Steering Committee at the Ministry of Labor for hiring persons with disability (Tawafug Program).
His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein earned his BA degree from Tufts University in 1987, a MA degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1995 and a M.Phil degree in Historical Studies in 1998 from Cambridge University. In addition, HRH Prince Mired attended the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1990 and served for several years in the Jordanian Armed Forces. He was the President of the 8th Meeting of States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) from 2007 to 2008. Prince Mired also serves as the ‘Special Envoy’ of the Mine Ban Convention for the universalization of the APMBC. Presently, he is the Chairman of the National Committee for Demining & Rehabilitation, the President of the Hashemite Commission for Disabled Soldiers and the President of the Higher Council for Affairs of Persons with Disabilities (HCD).
Ivor Ambrose is a co-founder and Director of the European Network for Accessible Tourism, a non-profit organisation, registered in Brussels in 2008. He has a driving ambition to promote inclusion and accessibility in tourism and development planning, working with public authorities, businesses and disability organisations. Born in England and trained as an Environmental Psychologist, he has lived and worked in the UK, Denmark and Belgium and is now resident in Athens, Greece.
Natalia Amelina, Ph.D., UNESCO IITE programme specialist. She has experience of more than 20 years in pedagogics. Natalia Amelina is an author of more than 30 publications in the field of education. Working for UNESCO IITE Mrs. Amelina participated in the international projects and being the expert and the coauthor of training materials; she took part and organized many international and national conferences, carried out a large number of meetings and the training seminars on promoting ICT for inclusive education.
Alberto Arguelhes is a Brazilian entrepreneur, systems analyst, lecturer and editor. He has 44 years of experience in the technology field and has worked with Brazilian and international companies. He founded his publishing company WVA in 1993. WVA is the only publisher in Brazil specialized in accessible literature and accessible books. WVA publications are mainly focused on inclusive education and on the rights of children and teenagers with disabilities. The publisher became a pioneer in Brazil by publishing books in diverse accessible formats.
Silvia has been working in European Foundation Centre EFC from May 2012 and since 2014 coordinating the Disability Thematic Network and specifically the Consortium of Foundations in Human Rights and Disability. She is appointed as head of the Zero Project Indicators research. Besides she carries out other projects in the frame of the Disability Thematic Network such as the League of Accessible and Historical Cities.
Swaraj Paul Barooah is currently the Executive Vice President of IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to legal education), a legal education non profit that works towards empowering underprivileged students and persons with disabilities through legal education. He is also the Editor in Chief of SpicyIP, a leading intellectual property blog, where he has also been an analyst since 2008. He did his B.A. LLB (Hons) from Nalsar University of Law and his LLM from UC Berkeley.
Ms. Bas was appointed Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DSPD/UNDESA) on 9 May 2011. She has worked for close to 10 years for the UN as a Professional Officer in social development and humanitarian affairs. She was special adviser at the European Union on social issues and democracy. She was in the Board of Directors of EUFRA. She graduated in Political Science in 1985, with a major in International Politics.
Stanley Bawden is the Managing Director of The Living Link in South Africa. Stanley has been in this position since 2010. He has a 3 Year National Marketing Diploma, Business Administration Degree and a Job Coaching Certificate. Stanley has worked in corporate sales as well as corporate facilitation. Prior to running The Living Link, Stanley facilitated to intellectually disabled young adults who lived independently, helping them with their budget planning, menu planning and general well-being within their own independent living spaces.
Vashkar Bhattacharjee is a person with visual disability currently working as a Program Manager of Young Power in Social Action (YPSA). He serves as a focal person for DAISY and TIGAR, and country representative for GAATES in Bangladesh. He worked as a National Consultant web accessibility with Access to Information (a2i) Program under Prime Minister Office. He completed M.A from the University of Chittagong and attended Duskin Leadership Training in Japan. He is the founder of Chittagong Computerized Braille production Centre and ICT and Resource Centre on Disability. He is actively involved with a number of local, national and international agencies ranging from Bangladesh Visual Impaired Society to APCD Foundation in Thailand. He is also a regular author of National ICT publications like The Monthly Computer Jagat etc.
Mag. Vera Blazek is working in the project development at Caritas Austria, department Training and Employment. She studied social economics and is now supervising many existing projects to integrate people with any kind of disabilities into the labour market. She is continuously maintaining projects and looking for innovative ideas. Therefore, she is searching for governmental and alternative funding possibilities.
Javier Blázquez currently works as International Projects Coordinator at Fundación ONCE (Spain), within the Accessibility and Innovation Directorate. He has participated in several projects throughout the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission (Apsis4all.eu, Cloud4all.info…) and he has been the Technical Coordinator of the EU FP7´s Project ICARUS. He also has participated as speaker in several international conferences: DRT4all (Madrid), ZeroProject (Vienna), Transed (Lisbon), AeroDays (London)…
Mrs. Jamie Bolling living in the north of Sweden is the executive director of ENIL – The European Network on Independent Living. She was a member of the European Fundamental Rights Platform’s Advisory Panel from 2010 – 2014. Jamie has a Masters degree in social anthropology and work experience in disability research, international development cooperation as well as other areas concerning disability issues. Combining her experience in politics as a county counselor and from different appointments at local, regional, national and EU level, with her vast knowledge of the international disability movement Jamie works for progress in Independent Living issues and policy.
As a teacher she has realized some projects to support students with disabilities in facing important steps such as social autonomy, training and job placement. Her teaching method is based on the realization of an inclusive learning environment which helps the “Performances” of everybody. She has been included among the 50 best teachers in the world by the Varkey Foundation in the competition “The Global Teacher Prize” and received Civil Honour Award from the President of Italy.
Martha Jo Braycich, Senior Director, Community Impact Initiatives, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. The movement serves more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Ms. Braycich, who works for the Europe/Eurasia regional office and is based in Brussels, Belgium, has been with Special Olympics for 18 years. In her position, Ms. Braycich and her team work on the development of regional initiatives related to youth and schools, inclusive sports, athlete leadership, health and research. She also oversees program development, mainly in southeast Europe. Ms. Braycich serves as program manager for several large grants that focus on youth and inclusion.
Robert Bu studied Chemistry, Diaconia and Operational Management. During nineties, he have been active in the music scene (as a singer in a local punk/new wave band). Involved in the civil society scene (FRY/Serbia and Montenegro/Serbia) from 1995. Started to work in the Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization (EHO) in 1996. From 2011, was EHO Deputy Director and from February 2015 is holding a position of EHO Executive Director. Author and coordinator of more than 60 development projects; have participated in more than 20 international conferences as a speaker; author of several publications; several awards for the projects RB coordinated. Working experience: empowerment of marginalized groups (including PWDs); community mobilization, advocacy /lobbying and peace and reconciliation.
Jane Buchanan is Associate Director for Europe and Central Asia at Human Rights Watch. She has 15 years’ experience doing research, in-depth reporting, and advocacy on a range of human rights topics. She has conducted research on disability rights, including access to education for people with disabilities, in Russia and in Serbia, and plans similar research in other countries. She has advocacy experience with national governments, the EU, the Council of Europe, UN mechanisms, and the media.
Erwin Buchinger, born in 1955, studied law at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. After management functions in the public employment service, he worked from 2004 to 2007 as Minister for Social Affairs in Salzburg and 2007/2008 as Minister of Social Affairs of the Republic of Austria. Since 2010 he has been serving as the Federal Disability Ombudsman.
Aline Buysschaert – Aline is an impact bond analyst at Kois Invest, a Brussels-based impact investing and advisory firm. She has been structuring over the last months a Humanitarian Impact Bond on physical rehabilitation for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Aline completed in 2015 a certificate in Ethics at the Catholic University of Louvain, focusing on the ethics underlying Social Impact Bonds. She joined Kois Invest after working for a business incubator in South Africa and completed a MA in International Development and Finance at the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Cabra de Luna holds a Doctorate in Juridical Science (University of Granada) and a degree in Business and Administration Program (University of Navarra, in association with Harvard University). He also holds a National Defense Diploma from the Spanish Center for National Defence Studies. He has been Secretary General of the Spanish Red Cross and has held several high ranking positions in the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. He is currently Director for Social Development and International Affairs and Strategic Planning of the ONCE Foundation, and also member/representative of many national and european organisations: the EESC, the SEE, the CEPES, the EFC. He has published 34 books together with other experts as well as numerous scientific articles on issues related to Social Economy, Foundations and Non-Profit Organizations.
Lawrence Campbell, President Emeritus, International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment has worked in the field of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired persons since 1967. For the past thirty-eight years he has worked full-time at the international level providing technical assistance to government and non-government organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
David Capozzi is the Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board. The Access Board is the only federal agency whose mission is accessibility for people with disabilities. David is responsible for $7.5 million in program expenditures and manages a staff of 28 professionals and support staff who develop accessibility guidelines and accessibility standards, training, technical assistance, and research programs. He was previously Director of Project ACTION, Vice President of Advocacy for Easter Seals and National Advocacy Director for the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Caroline Carswell is a verbal cochlear implant wearer who does not use sign language. Among the first born-deaf children in Ireland to be mainstream-educated, she graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an honours degree (no access supports). Caroline later worked in Canada, the US, UK and Ireland in digital publishing and corporate marketing. A proactive advisor and trainer to government, public and cultural entities, Caroline brings hearing and ability awareness to the education, training and employment spaces.
Caroline Casey is a social entrepreneur committed to the social and economic inclusion of the 1 Billion people with a disability. Caroline works to Globally transform our understanding of disability and make the basic human right of inclusion a norm in a world where exclusion is a deeply ingrained bad habit. Her vision – a world where no one is left, she believes, will be achieved by inciting business leaders interest and accountability for inclusion.
Mr. Chalklen is the founder and current chairperson of the African Disability Forum, a continental organisation representing the voice of Africans with all disabilities, with its headquarters in Addis Ababa. Since 2014 he is Councillor of the World Future Council. Formerly he served as Special Rapporteur on Disability from 2009-2014. Throughout the years, Mr. Chalklen has made a name for himself as a prominent leader in his area of work. In 2003, he founded the Secretariat for the African Decade of Disabled Persons where he held the position of Chief Executive Officer until 2006.
Dr Tsitsi Chataika is a senior lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, where she teaches inclusive education. She has monitored and evaluated inclusive education programmes in Zimbabwe. Tsitsi is a disability mainstreaming advocate and researcher with international reputation and she serves in various international editorial boards. She has published several articles in areas of her interest, including inclusive education, childhood disability studies and inclusive development. Tsitsi has conducted work in several African countries, Malaysia and the United Kingdom on disability awareness and inclusive sustainable development. She has also developed the first gender and disability mainstreaming manual in Africa.
Weiqin Chen is a full professor in human computer interaction and universal design of information and communication technology (ICT) at the Department of Computer Science in Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science (HiOA), Norway. She was the first academic coordinator for the international master program in universal design of ICT at HiOA. In the past Weiqin has led and participated in several national and international projects in technology-enhanced learning and accessibility. Her current research interests include universal design of learning management systems (LMS), MOOC accessibility, and novel interaction techniques.
Karen Khayat is an education consultant who studied in early childhood and inclusive education. She holds an MSc in Profound Learning Disability and Multi-Sensory Impairment and a Doctor of Education. In New Zealand, Afghanistan and Iraq, her career has been committed to promoting the full and meaningful participation of children with all range of impairments in education. She provides technical assistance to governments to design and implement inclusive education and early intervention models.
Gerald Craddock heads up the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, a statutory body established by the Irish Government. He is an expert evaluator for the European Commission’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. He is past president of AAATE. He has published widely in peer reviewed journals as well as continuing as a visiting lecturer at the University College Dublin and the Dublin Institute of Technology. His qualifications are Electronic Engineering degree, a Postgraduate Diploma in Social and Vocational Rehabilitation Management, and a PhD in Disability Studies.
Patrick D’Haese is the Corporate Director of Awareness and Public Affairs for MED-EL since February 2013. Over the last 20 years, he has been working mainly in the field of active implantable medical devices (cochlear implants and other hearing implants) within various global and European positions in sales, marketing, clinical research, public relations, public affairs and business development for different key players in the market. He holds a degree in speech and language pathology, audiology and business administration. Over the years, he has lectured and published widely on cochlear implants and has been involved in several research studies and clinical investigations.
Michelle L. Damiani is a doctoral candidate at Syracuse University in Special Education. Her research focuses on international inclusive education, teacher preparation and capacity building, and educators with disabilities. Her collaborations in Kenya focus on creating sustainable access to inclusive education for all students. She was previously an elementary special education teacher for 6 years and currently teaches university classes in inclusive education and disability studies.
As the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Coordinator for Education & Fragility, Laura supports the activities of the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility, coordinating diverse initiatives and catalyzing collaboration of 26 working group members to increase evidence and knowledge on education in crisis-affected contexts. Laura received her M.Ed. in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a Fulbright scholar, and holds an MA in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK. Prior to the INEE, Laura spent 5 years in international humanitarian work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Mathilde de Geus (1980) is owner/CEO of DGA; a small company for coaching and materials in field of inclusive education to deaf/hard of hearing children and youth. Before DGA she worked for 13 years in Deaf Education as teacher, designer of learning materials and coordinator. At DGA she focuses on: educational design/planning, allround development within a child, 21 century skills, visual and self directed learning. She is a partner for parents and parents associations worldwide. She is involved in projects for CEFR parents courses Sign Language.
Gregor Demblin is a wheelchair user ever since he was involved in an accident and is considered an international expert on people with disabilities in society and the economy. He has won numerous national and international awards for the construction job placement platform Career Moves. Since 2013 he is Ashoka Fellow. Demblin is Global Associate of the Business Disability Forum in the UK and has advised the European Commission and the Czech government on the topic of work and disability.
Koen Deweer is a Master in Special Education, he is founder and CEO of the belgian networkorganization KONEKT that goes on till everyone finds diversity evident. We do this by letting people with special needs shine in their talent, by bringing people together and by focussing on growth. KONEKT works on education, artistic work and sensitizing the society.
Laura Diego Garcia has a degree in Law and belongs to the Higher Corp of Technicians of the Social Security Administration. She began her professional career in the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (IMSERSO). Currently, she is Head of Area in the Directorate General for Disability Support Policies of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, and has working experience in drafting legislation, analysis of legal framework and preparing recommendations for improvement of legislation on issues such as adapting norms to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and employment of persons with disabilities. She has also taken part as an expert in European Union’s Twinning Projects in Tunisia and Ukraine
Antônio José do Nascimento Ferreira is the National Secretary for the Rights of the Person with Disabilities, Secretariat of Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil. Mr Ferreira was the first president of the National Organization of the Blind of Brazil – ONCB. He worked for eight years as Manager of Public Policy for People with Disabilities. In 2010, he served as general coordinator for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In July 2011, he was elected vice president of the National Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – CONADE.
Sarah has 20 years of international NPO experience focusing on education and public health. She joined Uhambo with a brief to facilitate the development of holistic and inclusive programmes in less resourced communities. Uhambo seeks ways to influence government policy and practice enabling social inclusion through Empowerment Through Learning programs, building capacity of stakeholders and ensuring appropriate assistive device provision.
Laura Duncan is the Monument Area Director at Special Olympics Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University in May 2014 with her B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Since March 2014, Laura has served as a program coordinator for Healthy LEAP– an inclusive program for youth and adults with and without intellectual disabilities, which involves a series of health, nutrition, fitness, and safety lessons and practical applications to jumpstart the practice of a healthy lifestyle.
Antonia Eggeling is Industrial Designer (B.A.) and Social Designer (MA) with a focus on societal benefit. She specialised in the participation of target groups in creative processes, as well as in topics like social participation, inclusion, aging and people with special needs. Eggeling is driven by valuable projects and inspiring collaboration. She holds a B.A. (Industrial Design), 2013, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen and a MA (Social Design – Arts as Urban Innovation ), 2015, University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Brent C. Elder is a doctoral candidate at Syracuse University in Special Education with Certificates of Advanced Study in Disability Studies and Leadership in International and Non-Governmental Organizations. He was a special education teacher at a public elementary school in California from 2004 to 2012. While there, he created a successful inclusive education program. He also taught courses from 2010 to 2012 in the Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has collaborated with the US Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, and the Ministry of Education in Kenya as an education consultant. He is engaged in ongoing critical disability studies research focused on the intersections of disability, poverty, and education in post-colonial Kenya.
Catherine Elliott currently holds the position of The Chair of Allied Health at Child and Adolescent Health Services and Curtin University. The primary the role of Chair of Allied Health is to generate, apply, and translate research findings into clinical settings in West Australia to improve the health and wellbeing of children. Catherine Elliott also holds the title of the Director of Research in the Department of Paediatric Rehabilitation, Princess Margaret Hospital. Elliott facilitates strong active collaboration amongst research, translation, patient care and education programs.
Mr. Essl is co-owner and head of the advisory board of the bauMax group, one of Austria’s leading retail companies. The company has a long history of employing persons with disabilities. Martin and Gerda Essl, together with their children, established the Essl Foundation in 2007. The foundation supports social innovation from social entrepreneurs to help persons with disabilities. Its main projects are the Essl Social Prize and the Zero Project. Mr. Essl is also involved in other projects, for example Ashoka in Austria, that support social initiatives.
Joseph Evans is an Inclusive Education Advisor with the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan since 2013. Having his professional training first as a special needs educator and teacher trainer at Kenya Institute of Special Education, he then moved to the County of Copenhaggen, and later to the University of Manchester (UK). He worked for various organizations: IRC, WIndle Trust (at Kakuma Refugee Camp) VSO (in Namibia and Ethiopia) JRS (in Thailand), NRC (in Liberia) and now SCA (in Afghanistan). Joseph Evans also gave lectures at the Africa Nazarene University (2010-2012). His researchs particularly focus on inclusive education for vulnerable pastoralist children in remote areas.
Mr Ugo Falace is a co-founder and CEO of Centro Leonardo, a company helping students to overcome learning disabilities.
Ugo is passionate about the role technology plays in education and believes learning should be an amazing experience for all students. Mr. Falace leads a creative team building interactive textbooks, designed to include students with learning disabilities, specifically to engage, challenge and help the way they learn.
Centro Leonardo is shaping a new concept of inclusive textbooks, one where scientific research meets design.
Helga Fasching is Associate Professor at the Department of Education, Section Education and Development, Research Unit Special Needs and Inclusive Education at the University of Vienna. Her research topics are Inclusive Education and Vocational Rehabilitation / Participation with special focus on transition from education to working life for youths with disabilities and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds. She has published over 50 articles and is scientific reporter on disability for ANED (Academic network of experts on Disability in Europe). Prior to her university career, she was a vocational integration counsellor (Arbeitsassistenz) with young people with learning difficulties.
Johannes Fellinger, M.D, P.D., (Neurologist and Psychiatrist/Neuropediatrcs) is Head of the Neurological Institute for Language and Senses, Hospital of St. John of God Linz/Austria and lecturer at the Medical University Vienna. 2009-2011 he assisted the WFD (World Federation of the Deaf) as Expert on Mental Health and 2013-2015 as co-ordinator for health issues. Johannes Fellinger is chair of the Special Interest Group “Public Health” of ESMHD (European Society for Mental Health and Deafness) and member of the executive committee. He hosted the FCEI (Family Centred Early Intervention for deaf and heard of hearing children) 2012 and 2014. Furthermore he did numerous research projects and publications on Deafness, Quality of Life, Mental Health and Deaf Learners.
After graduating from the Vienna University of Economics, Dr. Michael Fembek joined GEWINN, an Austrian business magazine, serving as editor-in-chief (2000-2007). In 2009 he initiated “Sinnstifter”, a project by Austrian philanthropists, and started the Austrian CSR-Yearbook. In 2010 he joined the bauMax group as its head of social affairs (until 2014) and the Essl Foundation as programme manager – with the Zero Project and the Essl Social Prize as its outstanding projects. Michael Fembek is also a Member of the Board of the Austrian Association of Charitable Foundations and the Advisory Board of the University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten.
Gertraud Findl works in the Themes & Quality Unit of the Austrian Development Agency. As Advisor for Education and Science she is mainly responsible for the strategic development of the sector as well as the quality assurance of ADC financed programmes and projects in the field of higher education, research and vocational education and training.
Benjamin Freese (M.A., Dipl.-Soz.Päd. / Dipl.-Soz.Arb., Educator and experience educator) is head of PIKSL laboratory in Dusseldorf. He deals with the topics Digital Participation, including experiential and socio-spatial learning opportunities (for example, community gardens). PIKSL was initiated by people with learning disabilities who are supported by the In der Gemeinde leben gGmbH (IGL) in Düsseldorf. PIKSL is committed to breaking down digital barriers and to facilitate digital participation. After three years of promotion, PIKSL faces the challenge to establish itself and to employ people with disabilities.
Walburga Fröhlich is co-founder and CEO of the social enterprise „atempo“. atempo supports disabled people to live as self-determined members of society with all rights of citizens. The offers of atempo are disseminated throughout a social franchise network in Germany and Austria. Walburga Fröhlich has a Master’s degree in social work and social management and works with people with learning difficulties and disabilities for more than 25 years.
Friederike is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Disability Studies (CDS). She holds qualifications in Speech Pathology (Masters), Special Education (Masters) and Project Management (Cert IV). She has over ten years of experience in the disability sector providing clinical services, case management, health promotion and advocacy for people with disability. She is currently undertaking a PhD through the University of Sydney entitled “Social Networks of people with intellectual disability in individual supported living arrangements”.
Ambassador Luis Gallegos’ career as a Government diplomat began in 1966 when he joined the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has been Director of the Planning Department, Sovereignty Department, Technical Cooperation and External Debt Department, Public Information and Press, Eastern Europe, Modernization and International Projects, National Coordinator of Summits, Undersecretary for Political Affairs and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs in several occasions. At present he is a Senior Scholar of UNITAR.
Alejandra García-Frank holds a PhD in Geology (2006) and is Assistant Professor at the Department of Palaeontology (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). Her research topics focus on applied palaeontology, sedimentology and geochemistry. Parallel to research, Alejandra appraises the educational aspects and disclosure and dissemination of palaeontology (and geology in general) in society. She is vice-chair of the organization “Ciencia sin Barreras” which aims to promote science communication among people with functional diversity and without access to scientific knowledge.
Gopal is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Youth4Jobs Foundation. He was part of the founding team of Employment Generation Mission, Government of Andhra Pradesh, India where he initiated innovative skilling programs for the bottom of the pyramid youth. He has a Master’s degree in management. He build and managed partnerships with multiple stakeholders, and developed and delivered more than 50 sensitization workshops for corporate to create employment opportunities for persons with disability. He also published research papers on education, employability and migrant labour.
Georgina Gaskell has worked within International Programme Development for Leonard Cheshire Disability since 2012, developing disability inclusive programmes across Africa and Asia within the International Department, coordinating large scale inclusive education and livelihoods projects and building on Leonard Cheshire Disability’s inclusive models. Her experience lies in the rights of people with disabilities, inclusive education of children with disabilities and child safeguarding, having worked within the voluntary and health sectors for the past seven years.
Martin Gould, Ed.D. is the G3ict Research Committee Chair. He joined G3ict in December 2006, and has worked on projects related to the CRPD. Martin’s professional work over the last 30 years includes: implementing the Affordable Care Act at the U.S. Treasury, directing federal policy research at the National Council on Disability in the U.S., directing non-profit outcomes research, administering family and student support services in school systems, and serving as a university lecturer and academic researcher. He took his doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University in 1985.
Daniela Gruber is Awareness Manager at MED-EL, a producer of implantable hearing solutions based in Innsbruck, Austria. In her position, she is responsible for stakeholder communication and public-private partnerships, particularly in emerging countries. She holds her master degrees in International Business Studies; Journalism and Communication Science; and Health Communication. Her studies focued on Corporate Social Responsibility and driving forces for health culture.
She was born in 1971 in Innsbruck / Austria, holds a degree in Education in Innsbruck. She is longtime activist and member of the emancipatory disability movement (Independent Living) and currently self-employed with a focus on: Dis-/Ability management, supervision, peer counselling and Feminist counselling. Cornerstone of scientific and political background is: Disability Studies, Queer Studies, Crip Theory, Independent Living.
Dr. Eva Gyarmathy is the scientific manager of the GNW Ltd. She is also psychotherapist and trainer. As psychotherapist her activity directs toward the care of the multiple exceptional talent. She is university lecturer and she is senior researcher at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, too. Her research interests focus on multiple exceptional gifted individuals such as talent associated with specific learning difficulties, ADHD, autism and/or social, cultural differences.
Dr. Hardie is the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University. She has worked in the cross-disability field for over thirty years in various capacities, nationally and internationally. She was a Strategy Team member responsible for writing Canada’s first mental health strategy (2012). Dr. Hardie currently serves as the Canadian representative on the International Lived Experience Leadership in Mental Health and System Change at Yale University, and the Canadian General Standards Board Committee overseeing the development of national service dog team standards in Canada
Ingrid is Human Rights Officer of the World Future Council and the Coordinator of the WFC’s Geneva Liaison Office, from where she coordinates the Zero Project’s policy research and conference organisation. Previously, she worked at the UNESCO Chair for Religious Pluralism and Peace, and collaborated with † Professor Pier Cesare Bori, Chair of Human Rights and Moral Philosophy, both at the University of Bologna. She holds a Master’s Degree (with honours) in International Relations.
Judy Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. In 2010, she was appointed to her current position as the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State. She served as the World Bank’s first Advisor on Disability and Development and served in the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education from 1993 – 2001. She previously worked with numerous disability rights organizations including co-founding the World Institute on Disability and the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California.
Klaus Hoeckner is working for the Austrian Association supporting the Blind and Visually Impaired in Vienna as Head of IT and Accessiblity Consultant. He has been working in the field of ICT-Accessiblity for more then 10 years one. He is member of different working groups in Austria and involved in diverse projects regarding ICT and persons with disabilities (i.e. MathInBraille, Robobraille, AccessibeMaps) but also in mobility-oriented projects in this field. On the European level he is engaged in the ICT working group of the EDF.
David is General Manager of the NPO LIFEtool and as such responsible for the development of Assistive Technologies and Special Education APPs. He established a non-profit counselling network with centers in Austria, Serbia and the Czech Republic and initiated 3 very well accepted Symposiums. David has furthermore managed to draw up a worldwide sales network for LIFEtool Solutions with about 100 partners in 40 countries. He holds a degree in Business Education from the Vienna University of Economics.
He is the founder and CEO of discovering hands®, an innovative German social business, which trains blind and visually impaired people as Medical Tactile Examiners (MTEs). Hoffmann holds a medical degree from the University of Düsseldorf and a degree in Business Administration for practicing physicians from the Landshut University of Applied Sciences. Frank Hoffmann has been awarded the “Ashoka-Fellowship” for creating the discovering hands® system in 2010.
Eileen’s career began education in one of the UK’s first schools for autism in the 70s. She was Director of Development at the National Autistic Society Board, a role in which she opened up Local authority advisory work. She moved into autism Research with Autistica as a Director and special advisor Autism, Policy and practice. She came to Ai-Media as Autism consultant to support and inform the development of the Visible classroom autism tool. Subsequently offered a seat on the Board she became Executive Director in 2014. She has provided consultancy internationally in Singapore, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the USA. She is currently autism consultant to the Shirley foundation. She has held non-executive directorships with Zurich, the NAS and What a difference a day makes and was a specialist school governor.
Dr. Huainigg is a Member of Parliament and Spokesperson for People with Disabilities as well as Spokesperson for Development Cooperation within Austria’s People’s Party. Paralyzed, using a wheelchair and a respirator, he experiences quite a few obstacles himself which he strives for omission or at least improvement, i.e. he is a first-hand expert. His primary aim is the involvement and participation of people with disabilities in all areas of life.
As the Senior Design Advisor for Universal Design in Products and Services at Ireland’s National Disability Authority’s, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, James works on national standards, policy and education. He is an expert member of ISO standards committees for accessibility and is the Convenor of Mandate M/473 JWG 5, and was Co-chair of NSAI SWiFT 9: 2012 Universal Design for Energy Suppliers and NSAI I.S. 373: 2013 Universal Design for Customer Engagement in Tourism Services.
Hubert Huber is a trainer in journalism. His main emphasis lies on different approaches to journalism in order to encourage cooperation in society based on self-reliance. He is in charge of the inclusive editorial training at the Austrian daily newspaper KURIER. There he was working as a managing editor until the end of 2014. He has been lecturer at different academic institutions and holds a master’s degree in mass communications and political sciences.
Anka Izetbegović is a civil society activist for over two decades. Since 1999, Anka has been Executive Director of DUGA Association, based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Anka has long term involvement and leadership in the area of inclusive education within educational reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (actions plans, low recommendations, project implementation, development of training modules, researches). Mrs. Anka is a co-author of several publications in the field of inclusive education.
Since 2009: Member of Austrian Parliament. Management Service Center ÖGS.barrierefrei (www.oegsbarrierefrei.at) since 2005, Gebärdenwelt (www.gebaerdenwelt.tv) since 2008 and Austria’s first Relay Service since 2012. Since 2003: lectures on Political Education and Culture of the Deaf, Deaf Education, Psychology and Sociology of the Deaf and Sign Language Poetry at University of Vienna and PH Vienna. Since 2001: President of the Austrian Deaf Association & Chief Editor of Austrian Deaf newspaper.
Electronic Engineer (´96) and MBA (´04), Eduardo Jauregui started his professional career in a small company. In 2006 he moved to a multinational business leader on access control to manage the R&D department. In 2013 he decided to create his own company to make a global business from a disruptive technology based on eye-tracking technology. Together with Vicomtech-IK4 Research Laboratory, he founded IRISBOND, to provide an alternative communication system based on technology with social innovation focus.
Makkiya Jawed is a graduate from SZABIST with a major in Psychology. She is currently completing her Masters in Health Policy and Management from The Aga Khan University. She has previously worked with development sector organizations such as Sustainable Initiatives, Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). At doctHERs, she is responsible for engaging marginalized communities and for implementing corporate deals. Her expertise includes behavioral modification training and wellness workshops, community intervention strategies, primary and secondary research and mental health.
Elena Jenkin is a research fellow who has undertaken participatory research titled “Voices of Pacific children with disability” based in Vanuatu and PNG. Funded by the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme, this innovative research involved developing inclusive participatory methods and included the use of technology to enable children with disabilities to speak for themselves. ICT was used as a community education and advocacy method to inform local and global communities about the children’s needs and aspirations. A PhD candidate, Elena has over twenty years experience of working alongside children and adults with disabilities in Australia, the Pacific and Asia.
Karin Jestin holds an MA in International Management from HEC Paris. Having started her career in 1993 as strategic management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Paris, Ms Jestin joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as special advisor to the Secretary General. Following that, she worked as Director at FSG Social Impact Advisors. Until 2015, Ms Jestin led the philanthropic activities of the private bank Lombard Odier. She is a board member of SwissFoundations, the association of grant-making foundations in Switzerland.
Wilfried Kainz is a graduate from the University of San Francisco (International Finance) and the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (University of Economic Affairs Vienna, Austria; Marketing, Advertising and Market Research). He works as an independent consultant and is doing research for the Zero Project on a part time basis. Before the current activity as consultant, he held executive management positions in the food, med tech and IT industry. He is married and has four children.
Manfred Kastner is founder of Vision Microfinance and Vision Education. He started Vision Microfinance in 2005 which has awarded microcredits worth approx. USD 700 Million. In October 2015 he launched Vision Education to promote high quality learning opportunities for all starting with language apps for refugees and immigrants and English4all around the globe. His focus is on creating innovative technology and new funding mechanisms and approaches. His goal is to ensure access to cheap effective mobile education with a special emphasis on the empowerment of children, women and the handicapped.
Svetlana Kekic is a graduated journalist and electronic engineer. She has been in public relations business for more than 20 years now. Also, she teaches English. ICT, and communication accessibility are her main fields of interest, since she joined school for disabled children. She is an associate on the project “School Portal Milance”.
Masahito Kawamori is currently the Rapporteur of Question 26 “Accessibility to multimedia systems and services” in the Study Group 16, which is the lead Study Group for Multimedia of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency for Information and Communication Technology. He is also a co-chair of Inter-sector Rapporteur Group on Media Accessibility with ITU-R.
Kadrin Kergand has been involved with student support and counselling since 1999. She started her professional career as a Career Adviser and the Head of Career Service at the University of Tartu. Since 2008 she has been working for the Archimedes Foundation implementing Primus, a programme for Higher Education Quality Enhancement. One of the six activity areas is training of adjusting to studies for entrants by providing study and career counselling services and support services for students with special needs.
Samuel Koch, born 1987 was a gym for more than 17 years before he had an accident 2010. He was rehabilitated 13 month in Switzerland. Nevertheless he finished his actor studies and is now member of the state Theatre Darmstadt, Germany. He is author of two books.He supports the international “wings for live” foundation of Austria and some other charitable societies.
As the Director of Programs and International Relations at Sabancı Foundation she oversees the Foundation’s programs promoting social inclusion and equal participation for women, youth and persons with disabilities. She sits on the Governing Council of the European Financial Center (EFC) and the national advisory board of the Technical Assistance for Civil Society Organizations (TACSO). She holds an MBA from Yale School of Management and a BA in business administration from Bogazici University.
Elisabeth Krön serves as Project Manager for Specialisterne Austria and is a trained actress having studied theatre and acting in Vienna. She studied German and Romance Philology in Vienna and Milan. She is fluent in German, English and Italian. She has long term experience working as an instructor for executives and conducts team building workshops for corporations and entrepreneurs. Elisabeth has worked over the years building Specialisterne into the company it is today.
Ahmet Kryeziu is a country director of Save the Children International in Kosovo with 16 years of experience in addressing child rights. He has an extensive experience in inclusive education development policy (in country and the region), His leadership in multidisciplinary projects and teams related to the right of children to education, social protection and health contributed to the reinforcement of an innovative model for inclusive education, through the combination of different intervention elements: training of professionals and strengthening of their skills, innovation of the educational system, revision of university and in-service training curricula, establishment of multidisciplinary groups for the assessment and monitoring of disability and provision of support and capacity building to civil society organisations.
Klaus Lachwitz is a human rights lawyer by profession who worked as a legal advisor and director of Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe, Germany`s biggest NGO for persons with intellectual disabilities and their families, for 30 years. After his retirement, he was elected president of Inclusion International and Secretary General of the International Disability Alliance (IDA). He published the first comprehensive legal commentary in German language on the UN – CRPD in 2012. His main legal subject is Art. 12 UN – CRPD: Equality before the Law which in fact means to replace all forms of substitute decision making such as guardianships, by supported decision making scemes.
Sylvana Lakkis had been the acting president of LPHU for thirteen years ending in her tenure in 2009. Currently, she is General Manager of LPHU and Chairperson of the Regional Arab bureau of Disabled People’s International. She is also consultant for The Minister of Social Affairs on disability issues related to inclusion and disability rights, and has contributed in developing national strategies for various public institutions (decrees and circulars). Ms.Lakkis was chosen as the Most Powerful Lebanese Woman for 2008 for being the voice of reason after May 7, 2008. She headed the No to war, yes to dialogue” campaign. Ms.Lakkis has also developed many policy papers related to the rights of women with disabilities, and was awarded by the US embassy in Beirut for her renowned efforts toward the recognition of women’s rights and advancement (2009).
Mirjana Lazor is a school pedagogue. She is strongly devoted to the improvement of inclusive education in Serbia. She creates the manuals, counsels and educates teachers who work with children with learning difficulties. By advocating and fighting for inclusive education, she creates conditions for quality education for all children, especially for children with disabilities. Eight years ago, she launched a school portal for distance learning and e-learning, named Milanche, aiming to improve availability of education for children excluded from school for any reason. She is also a coordinator of the project that supports deinstitutionalization and independent leaving of adults with intellectual disabilities.
Vladimir Lazovski worked in the civic sector since 1999, in Macedonia, Kosovo and Sudan, for the Inclusion of marginalized groups, in particular of persons with disabilities. He has managed the pioneering effort to introduce assistive technology in the inclusive (mainstream) education in Macedonia. The model of work has won several prestigious awards and recognition at national and international level and is currently piloted in part of neighboring Serbia. He is the author or co-author of several policy papers and research reports. Since 2009, Vladimir is the executive director of Open the Windows, the only organization in Macedonia entirely focused on promotion of assistive technology and digital inclusion
Sister Le Thi Van Nga, belong to the Thu Duc Congregation of Lovers of the Holy Cross in Vietnam. She is the Director of the Nhat Hong Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. She has studied to get a Master on Special Education and she has been worked for the blind for 20 years. The Nhat Hong Center is providing service to more than 300 children with vision impairment, with various programs including early intervention, inclusive education, ICT, higher education, multiple disabilities education, career training and employment.
Christopher Lee, Ph.D. is the Director of AMAC Accessibility Solutions & Research Center. He is the author of What About Me? Strategies for Teaching Misunderstood Learners and Faking It: A Look Into the Mind of a Creative Learner. Dr. Lee is a renowned speaker, author, researcher and advocate in the field of learning disability. His work focuses on innovative methods, including the use of adaptive technology for improving, promoting, and ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
Panagiota (Betty) Leotsakou, Social-Psychologist/Sociologist, President of ICEVI-Europe, has worked in the field of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired persons since 1994. She has earned a Master’s Degree in The Management of Educational Systems and a Graduate Degree in Employment Rehabilitation and Vocational Training for the Visually Impaired. For ten years, she held the position of Scientific Director at the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece. From 2003-2010, she was employed at the Ministry of Education as a Career Counselor for children with visual impairments and from 2010-2012 she was appointed by the Ministry of Health as President of the Public Entity Paidopoli, St. Andrew Child Protection Center. Presently, she is C.E.O & President of Board of the Center of Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind (C.E.R.B.) in Greece.
Ingrid is the Managing Director of Enabling Education Network. She has worked for EENET since 2002, and prior to that was a Policy Officer in Save the Children, focusing on gender and disability. Within EENET she is responsible for managing both the inclusive education information/networking activities and EENET’s consultancy services. She specialises in promoting/facilitating the participation of grassroots stakeholders in education research, documenting and dialogues. Ingrid has authored a wide range of advocacy, research, training and evaluation publications and is also the voluntary convener of the Inclusive Education Task Team for Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).
Madai Linkimer is a psychologist with a master degree in Familiar and Social Violence Studies. She has 15 years of work experience in the execution, implementation, consulting and coordination of programs and state and private projects on different topics: disability, abandonment, social risk, poverty, domestic violence and social inclusion from a human rights approach, especially with persons with disabilities. Also, she has experience working with civil society organizations, public institutions and enterprises and experience working with rural and urban communities, including, groups at social risk in different countries of Latin America.
Sabina Lobato is a Bachelor of Economics and has a Masters degree in SME Management. With over 19 years of experience in the disability sector linked to the ONCE Foundation, she’s currently the Director of Grants and Training and Employment Programs. She’s also Ilunion Group Board Member, President of FSC Discapacidad, Member of the Standing Committee and the Plenary of the Spanish High Council on Statistics, and Vice President of the European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR).
Michael Longhino is currently leading the project „inclusive education“and the department for employment services of Chance B Group, a social service provider in Eastern Styria, Austria. He is member of the steering group for realising inclusive model regions in Styria, led by the Styrian School Authority, Landesschulrat für Steiermark, member of the board of Integration:Österreich, the institution representing the needs of parents of children with disabilities in Austria and lector at the University of Graz. He is Sociologist and Mediator.
Janet Lord is an international disability rights lawyer with more than 15 years of experience working globally on advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. She served as legal counsel to Disabled Peoples’ International and lead governments during the drafting of the UN a Disability Convention. She is senior fellow at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.
Colin Low has been a lifelong campaigner for the rights of blind and disabled people, especially in the field of education. Former Chair, now Vice President of RNIB, and President of ICEVI (International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment), he taught Law and Criminology at Leeds University, before becoming Director of the GLC’s Disability Resource Team. He then carried out research into theories of disability as Senior Research Fellow at City University, and was appointed to the House of Lords in 2006. He was a member of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (1994-2007); the Disability Rights Task Force (1997-1999); and the Disability Rights Commission (2000-2002), and now chairs the Low Commission on the future of advice and legal support on social welfare law.
Jonas Atugonza Lubago is a prominent activist working with different CSO networks in the Tanzania, a holder of Masters degree in education from the University of Dar es Salaam in 2013 and a visually impaired person. He speak English and Swahili languages and has several skills in Resource Management, fundraising, computer application, classroom teaching and Public address. He is currently living in Dar es Salaam, employed as CEO Tanzania League of the Blind.
Anneke Maarse is an experienced adviser on international cooperation,with more than 15 years of experience in disability mainstreaming, economic empowerment, inclusive education and community based rehabilitation. She had field experience in South East Asia and Eastern Africa and she now works in Uganda where she runs a consultancy company named Double Loop Uganda (www.loop2.org), and also act as Interim Program Manager Employable for Light for The World. Since 2 years Anneke is also involved in an Economic Empowerment Program supported by the Norwegian Association of the Disabled (NAD). She is co-author of a publication on this program: From Financial Exclusion to Formal Inclusion.
Mr. Setareki S. Macanawai is currently the CEO for the Pacific Disability Forum and previously worked as the Executive Director for the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons and Headteacher of the Fiji School for the Blind. He studied special education and educational administration in Fiji, New Zealand, U.S.A and Australia. He has received a number of regional and international awards in recognition of his professional and academic achievements in the field of disability. Mr. Macanawai is a leading disability advocate in Asia and the Pacific region, and has served in the committees of many international and regional organisations concern with disability.
After completing his training as an advertising specialist, Tobias Marczinzik studied at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) communication and brand design. During his studies he worked as a research assistant for the Volkswagen AG. Since 2010 he works for “In der Gemeinde leben gGmbH” in Düsseldorf and directs the organization PIKSL. PIKSL means “People-centered interaction and communication for greater self-determination in life”. PIKSL breaks down digital barriers and reducing complexity in everyday life. The organization utilizes the abilities of people with and without disabilities to develop products and services for all people.
Charlotte V. McClain-Nhlapo is the Global Disability Advisor in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (GPSURR) Global Practice of the World Bank Group. She focus on supporting operational teams across the institution to ensure that Bank policies, programs and projects take persons with disabilities into consideration. In 2011, she was appointed by President Barak Obama to lead USAID’s work on disability inclusive development. Earlier in her career, she was appointed by President Nelson Mandela as a Commissioner to the South African Human Rights Commission focusing on social and economic rights, disability rights and child rights. During her stay in South Africa, she also served as a project officer on child protection for UNICEF. Charlotte holds Law Degrees in international law and administration from the University of Warsaw, Poland and Cornell Law School.
Julia has been the lead Inclusive Education Technical Advisor for Handicap International since 2013. She worked as Speech and Language Therapist for 12 years, mostly in schools, and also worked in Nigeria and Uganda as a teacher trainer, and lecturer. After a MSC in International Child Health from UCL, with a focus on disability in development, she developed an interest in Inclusive Education and focuses on forging stronger links between education and rehabilitation, in the IE sector.
John McLaughlin is the Deputy Minister for the Anglophone Sector of the New Brunswick (Canada) Department of Education & Early Childhood Development. His entire career has been spent in the field of public education, first as a teacher, and subsequently as a Director of Education, District Superintendent, Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister. He is a strong champion for the rights of all students through the establishment of an inclusive education environment, and was instrumental in the development of the province’s policy which ensures all children and youth have a meaningful place in their neighborhood schools.
Amihai Miron is the co-founder and CEO of User1st, a cloud-based accessibility compliance system. Miron was born in 1973 in Herzliya, Israel, to Zvi Miron, a Holocaust survivor and an executive civilian in the Israeli Defense Forces, and Ella Miron, an international artist. In 1995, Miron began working with disabled school children from disadvantaged backgrounds. By 1996, Miron was managing over 40 students across 15 schools throughout Jerusalem. Prior to co-founding User1st in 2012, Miron was employee #5 at SuperDerivatives (NYSE: ICE), a financial services company acquired by the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. In 2014, Miron was awarded the Prime Minister Prize for Entrepreneurship. Miron holds an MBA from Ono Academy, and earned his BA in Design from Bezalel Art Design School.
Gopal Mitra works as a Programme Specialist- Children with Disabilities in the Disability Section, Programme Division at UNICEF HQ. As part of the Disability Section’s mandate, his work involves mainstreaming disability across UNICEF’s policies and programmes. He also supports UNICEF’s engagement with the UN Inter Agency Support Group on Disability and with the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Multi-Donor Trust Fund. Within the Disability Section he works on policy and cross sectoral issues and acts as the focal point on SDGs, inclusive humanitarian action, assistive technology and on adolescents and young people with disabilities.
Mrs. Mor leads the implementation of the POETA Social Franchise Model and multi-sector social development projects in Latin America for the Trust for the Americas-OAS. She earned a B.A in Government and Foreign Affairs from la Universidad Externado de Colombia, she holds a master degree in Public Administration and International Development Management from American University. Maria has ten years of experience in consulting and project management on international development. She has worked for the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan-America Health Organization and the World Bank and in the non-profit field. Her knowledge and experience in ICT for development focus on vulnerable communities, community-based development, humanitarian assistance and workforce development.
Mariagiulia is a primary school teacher, musician and expert in Information & Communication Technology. In recent years, she has studied the issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorders. The basic idea of her job is to enable global educational initiatives by using music as part of inclusive education, multichannel and multi-sensory practice. The music represents to her an essential channel of communication and establishes a systematic approach within each course, in order to truly inclusive teaching and motivating.
Georgette is the Chief Executive of Lumos, an international children’s organisation, founded by J.K. Rowling to end the institutionalisation of children globally by 2050. For more than two decades, Georgette has worked in 23 countries, leading large-scale programmes to transform (and at times save) the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children. She pioneered a model of ‘deinstitutionalisation’ now followed by many governments. She has published four books on children’s rights and is the Deputy Chair of the Global Alliance for Children. In 2014, she was named as ‘one of the world’s 30 most influential social workers’ by socialworkdegreeguide.com.
Thuy Nguyen works as a program officer in the Disability Program of the Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV) since 2006. Her work is to run and support local governmental partners to run the education component in a comprehensive support program for adults and children with disabilities in provinces of Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Quang Tri and Phu Yen in Vietnam. Before this period, she worked as a teacher of English in a high school in Cam Xuyen district of Hatinh province of Vietnam. Thuy has a bachelor degree in education and a master degree in special need education which she got from the Oslo university of Norway. Thuy lives in Hanoi capital of Vietnam.
Yetneberesh Nigussie Molla is a lady with visual impairment. Having done her first degree in Law, she gained a Master’s degree in Social Work from Addis Ababa University. Currently Ms. Molla is working as a Senior Advocacy Officer for Light for the World International. Ten years back she co-founded the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development ECDD. Among the outstanding awards she received Most Influential Women in Africa is to be mentioned. She believes that all services including Education should be accessible to and inclusive of persons with disabilities.
Michelle Moloney has worked for more than 13 years as an information systems developer in the area of intellectual disability. Previous to that she worked as a programmer in airline software. Michelle has completed an MSc in Health Informatics and an MSc in Computing (Assistive Technology). Her research topics focus on accessible data. Michelle remains keenly interested in advocating the role technology can play in making information accessible.
Rosalina Flores Obando has coordinated projects under the RBC strategy since 2006, in partnership with CBM, local organizations and institutions. She has developed community initiatives, focusing on social and educational inclusion of children from early childhood, considering that at this stage the brain and biological development of boys and girls, depends on the quality of stimuli they receives from family and environment.
Mr. Auberon Jeleel Odoom is a Registered Organisation Development Practitioner with the International Society for Organisation Development and Change (USA). He is also a trained development practitioner, working as the National Co-ordinator of Inclusion Ghana. He is a webmaster and has completed both his Postgraduate Diploma and a Master of Arts Degree in Organisation Development from the University of Cape Coast/ OCIC, UK. He is currently the board secretaries of the Autism Society of West Africa and the Ghana Civil Society Platform for Social Protection. He is also a member of the board of directors for Inclusion Africa, the Ghana Federation of the Disabled and an expert representing the Africa Disability Alliance, and the secretary to Ghana’s Inclusive Education Technical Working Group.
Founder and CEO of “Pay It Forward In Sign Language” at Access Israel. Sarel was chosen to be Barak Obama’s personal sign language interpreter during his first visit to Israel. The “Pay It Forward in Sign Language” project has joined Access Israel, and Sarel is currently a member of the management team.
Joni Oyserman (MA) is owner and CEO of Signhands; a company for teaching, training, developing educational materials and research. She also works as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and is Google for Education Certified Innovator. Her work focuses on (sign) language linguistic research, e-learning, education/curriculum and L1/L2 acquisition. This connected with CEFR and International Sign. She is one of the authors of the first CEFR descriptors for Sign Languages, published August 2013 in the Netherlands. She is involved in various CEFR-projects for parent education.
Marie-Anne Paraskevas is a Senior Policy Expert at the European Commission.She studied Law and Political Sciences at the Athens University. After a postgraduate course on European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges, she joined the Legal Service of the European Commission in 1980. Since 1995, Marie-Anne has been working in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, on gender equality, social inclusion and fight against poverty. In September 2011, she took up the coordination of the team working on the transnational dimension of the European Social Fund. She has been also in charge of the horizontal principles of the ESI Funds, in particular the European Conduct on Partnership and territorial cooperation (CLLD, ITI,etc) as well as for issues relating to social inclusion, economy, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Nevena Peneva is member of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ Equality Sector. Her areas of expertise with respect to the FRA’s work include: rights of people with disabilities, children with disabilities and issues of violence and abuse, fundamental rights indicators and socio-legal research. Before joining the FRA, she managed projects related to diversity and integration, human rights and youth participation in NGOs in Bulgaria and Austria. She studied politics and sociology and holds a Master degree in international relations and a postgraduate degree in European studies.
Maureen Piggot OBE, is the president of Inclusion Europe, the association of organisations of people with intellectual disability and their families and a member of the Council of Inclusion International. Prior to this she was the Director of Mencap in Northern Ireland for 23 years, in which position she provided leadership within the disability sector in the fight for rights and a better life for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families.
Jyrki Pinomaa is nationally and internationally active on disability field since 1986, being a father two sons with multiple disabilities. He was president of Inclusion Finland for 5 years and is Board Member of Inclusion Europe since 2011. He works as CEO in Aspa Foundation, founded by 13 Finnish disability organizations to provide housing services for people with disabilities. Aspa owns 1.000 accessible apartments in Finland and gives daily support to almost 2.000 persons with disabilities.
She is Deputy Head of Unit, for Rights of Persons with Disabilities within the Directorate General for Employment. The unit is in charge of the coordination of the European policies for persons with disabilities and responsible for the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities at EU level. She is responsible for the Task Force for the preparation of the European Accessibility Act.
As a founder chairperson of Action on Disability Rights and Development-Nepal, Mr. Birendra Raj Pokharel has immense experiences of pushing ratification of CRPD in Nepal and promoted disability inclusive development. He has prepared Disability rights holistic monitoring report in Nepal. He has adopted Accessible publishing platform through DAISY and Epub and implemented the Capacity Building project of Accessible Books Consortium under WIPO and launched the ELECTS campaign, Inclusive Education.
Jaco Rademeyer obtained his BSc Computer Science degree in 2001 and later became a director of ADJ Electronics. With a strong focus on inclusivity and an inventive spirit Jaco and his colleagues develops solutions for, among others, the National Institute for the Deaf and they were priviledged to meet president Nelson Mandela and hand him one of their solutions. ADJ Electronics is an Intel Education Alliance Partner and in 2014 Jaco was invited as a speaker at the African Edu-Week.
Irena Radinović holds an MA in English literature. Her first working experience was acquired in national and international civil society organizations working with vulnerable population. She has been working as Digital Inclusion Coordinator in the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit since 2009, promoting inclusion in the field of information society and education. She believes that changes are possible and that every person shares responsibility for their own and collective wellbeing.
Robin Ribback, CIO and co-founder of VerbaVoice, is responsible for operations and technological development at VerbaVoice. He is using his 15 years of professional experience at the interface between IT and media to design IT solutions for the deaf and hard of hearing. The accessible online platform developed by VerbaVoice provides live text and sign language video for hearing impaired people and makes spoken content visible on mobile and smart devices, screens or through a livestream.
Diane Richler is a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation International Fellow and coordinates the Foundation’s International Policy Fellowship Program. She is former chair of the International Disability Alliance, and past president of Inclusion International. She has served as a consultant to national governments and multi-lateral institutions (UNICEF, UNESCO, OECD, World Bank). Diane was one of the civil society leaders in the negotiation of the U.N CRPD. She was an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Academic of the European Union in inclusive education and is a member of the Human Rights Advisory Committee of the Open Society Foundation. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manuel Guerrero of Panama.
Marie Ringler is one of Ashoka`s Europe Directors. She was born in Vienna, studied Sociology, Political Science and Women`s Studies at the University of Vienna, and holds a degree from ESADE Business School, Spain and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. In the late 90`s she helped build Public Netbase, an art institution exploring the social implications of ITCt, and later became its managing director. She was elected into office as a Member of the Regional Parliament and City Council of Vienna in 2001 and focused on developing policy to drive innovations in society. After two successful terms in office, she decided against a life-long career in politics and founded Ashoka`s Austrian office in Vienna. She has been a member of several award juries including the Social Impact Award, the ORF Open Innovation Award and the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award.
Kaitlin Roh works for USAID/Jordan’s Education & Youth Office on improving inclusive practices in current projects. Her previous work included program management in the Syrian refugee camp Za’atari Camp and in host communities, as well as working with mothers of children with disabilities. Prior to her work in the Middle East, Kaitlin worked for PACER Center, a parent resource center serving families with children with disabilities, where she helped parents navigate the US health care system. She has a B.A. in Educational Studies & Political Science from Macalester College.
A disabled teacher, author, filmmaker, trainer and consultant on inclusive education and disability equality over 30 years. Represented the UK Disability Movement at the UN and helped frame UNCRPD especially Article 24. Provides training and consultancy in many countries including India, Kenya, Uganda, Southern Africa, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Du Bai, Argentina, across European Union and Russia. Authored Implementing Inclusive Education for Commonwealth Secretariat (2012), Disability Equality in the Classroom (1990), Altogether Better Comic Relief (1994) Disabling Imagery, British Film Institute (2004). Activist involved in many advocacy and rights organisations.
With a teacher background and 20 years of experience in education and development, Hervé has worked with non-governmental organizations in Cambodia since 2002. He has been first involved in the field of Community Based Rehabilitation for Children with Intellectual Disabilities. Since 2012, he is collaborating with Krousar Thmey, the first Cambodian foundation for underprivileged children and the only organization in the country providing a comprehensive education (from kindergarten to high school) for Blind or Deaf children.
Dr. Birgit Rothenberg is an activist of the German independent living movement and member of “disability studies in Deutschland”. She started in 1982 to build up a counseling service for students with disabilities at the University of Dortmund. Over the years the counseling service is completed to a resource center for both students with disabilities in higher education and the academic staff of the TU Dortmund University and she is working now as department head of this department disability and studies (DoBuS) at the Center for Higher Education at TU Dortmund University.
Ana Isabel Ruiz Lopez has a bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and a degree in Physiotherapy. She began her professional career in the National Organization for the Spanish Blind (ONCE) as a selling agent in the Administrative Agency of the Organization in Burgos in 1995. In 2000 she started in the Administrative Office of Salamanca as head of the Department of Social Services for Members. In 2003 she was appointed head of the Department of Education Attention in the Headquarters of ONCE, position held until 2008, when she was appointed Director of Education and Employment of the same Office. In 2011 she was appointed Director of Education, Employment and Cultural Promotion.
Wilson Ruvere is currently the National Executive Director of Jairos Jiri Association responsible for managing all the operations of the organisation in Zimbabwe. He holds a Diploma in Business Studies (UZ) and a Bachelor of Education Special Education (UZ). His innovative practices improved the service delivery to people with disabilities.
Artemi is Director of the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE), a UK charity that works to promote equality and eliminate discrimination in education. She began her career as a special educator and taught in special schools for many years, before focusing on the development of more inclusive education. Artemi has also worked in local authority support services and in further and higher education. She has presented at conferences and published widely, mostly on disability equality.
Denis Sandwidi was born on the 02d december 1975 in Koupela, Burkina Faso in west Africa. From 1997 to 1999, he studied philosophy in saints Peter and Paul University and from 1999 to 2004, he studied Theology in Saint Peter claver University in Burkina Faso. Since 2004 he was instituted priest. Since, 2012 he is also project manager of Ocades Tenkodogo.
Isaac leads a team of staff and volunteers from Special Olympics Arizona in a partnership with the government of Belize in helping them become more socially inclusive using the programs of Special Olympics. Isaac has over 10 years’ experience working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mr. Sanft has a passion for programs that use sport as the great social equalizer, using it as a catalyst to reveal the greatness and abilities of all people. Isaac has been identified as leader in the Special Olympics movement and has committed a career to creating a world where people with all abilities can be accepted and given equal opportunity.
Amelie joined the Zero Project Team as researcher of Innovative Practices in 2013. In 2016 she was responsible for the research on social indicators on inclusive education to measure the implementation of UN CRPD globally within the Zero Project. Previously Amelie worked for a global logistics company in Shanghai and as Project Manager for a non-profit foundation in Switzerland. Amelie has experience within international affairs in different thematic areas and approaches. She received her degree in Political Sciences and Philosophy from Vienna University in 2006 and went to school in the United Kingdom for her A-levels. Currently Amelie is living in Tokyo, Japan, and is acting as representative of the Zero Project, building new partnerships and identifying new opportunities.
Bernhard Schmid is Secretary General of Lebenshilfe Vienna, Vice President of Lebenshilfe Austria, Head of Family member Council of Lebenshilfe Austria. He is also an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and an expert for inclusive education. Born in 1963, married, 3 children, one of them a son with Down-Syndrome.
Christian Schober is head of Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at the WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business). During the last 10 years he has led numerous applied research projects in the field of impact measurement and analysis, especially with focus on SROI analysis. He cofounded the Austrian Social Impact User Group of Social Value International and was member of the Austrian NPO-Governance working group. Furthermore he is responsible for leadership trainings at a number of NPOs.
Claudia Schweinzer is an educated deaf translator and she currently works at signtime GmbH, Vienna. She has a profound experience in translating content of different sources and different types (internet, movies, TV, museum guides etc.) into sign language. Claudia Schweinzer is involved in the development of SiMAX, a translation tool for sign language. She is responsible for implementing sign language, the translation process and for quality management.
Susan Scott-Parker is the Founder and Chief Executive of Business Disability Forum. It is the world’s leading employers’ organisation working to the mutual benefit of business and people with disabilities. Susan has an international reputation as an authoritative advocate for the business advantages of disability confidence. She is on the Expert Advisory Panels of the Essl Foundation in Vienna, and Work Focus Australia.
As a technical specialist at UNICEF Supply Division HQ in Copenhagen Denmark, Edgard Seikaly’s experience has taken him on mission globally. His expertise lies in product development of education supplies in emergencies. Edgard has been on deployment in Sudan, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and more recently in Macedonia and Serbia. The majority of Edgard’s deployments have been in reaction to a need for an education response at the onset of emergencies. Edgard is also the technical specialist responsible for all education supplies for children with disability with a focus on visual impairment. Edgard was also heavily involved in the framework for ICT and education.
Umesh Sharma is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Australia. He is the chief co-editor of the Australasian Journal of Special Education. He is the author of about 100 academic articles, book chapters and edited books on inclusive education. Umesh has written policy documents for Ministries of Education in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Solomon Islands, and New Zealand on education of children with disabilities. He is leading a large international project aimed at developing a set of inclusive education indicators. He was the recipient of Dean’s award for Excellence in Innovation and External Collaboration.
Theresa Skehan is a senior advisor at the Swedish Agency for Participation working with a focus on issues concerning standardization, accessibility and international cooperation. The Swedish Agency for Participation works to ensure that disability policy will have an impact in all corners of Swedish society. A licensed physiotherapist educated at Emmanuel College, Boston and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Ms. SKehan has been active in the field of rehabilitation for over thirty years and has worked as a clinical physical therapist in primary care, manager for a day centre for persons with intellectual and physical disabilities as well as with standardization projects and projects within the TIDE, HORIZON PHARE and 6TH Framework programmes.
Mikael Snaprud is CEO of Tingtun AS, an agile company to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of accessibility, web search, and eGovernment benchmarking. He started the European Internet Inclusion Initiative (EIII) supported by the European Commission to deliver web accessibility check tools. As Associate Professor at the University of Agder he is teaching ICTs. He is a reviewer for the ICCHP, and member of the Norwegian national standardisation groups to address accessibility in ICT standards.
Erwin Stahl has more than 20 years of successful track-record in investing in seed and early-stage companies. He graduated from Regensburg University, Germany, with a degree (Dipl.-Kfm.) in business management; PhD (Dr. rer. pol.) in economics. From 1996 to 1999 he was project manager venture capital with Wellington Partners, Munich (venture capital fund). From 1999 to 2002 he was managing partner of Upside Ventures, Munich (consulting and seed investments for entrepreneurs) and consultant to the EU (5th framework programme SME). Since 2003 Erwin Stahl is Managing Partner of the BonVenture Group, Munich, a foundation and social venture capital fund with about 30 investments up to now; www.bonventure.de
Andreas Stainer-Hochgatterer graduated from a Technical College for Information Technology and Electronics. After Special Education Studies at the University of Vienna (specialising in IT in Special Education) and a study visit at the Middlesex University in London he joined AIT in the year 1998. He is Senior Expert Advisor and Thematic Coordinator of the Active & Assisted Living (AAL) activities within the Health & Environment Department and IPMA certified project manager and has over ten years of experience in coordinating different national and international research projects. He is lecturer at the FH Campus Wien, author of many publications in the field of Assistive Technology and initiator of an information centre for people with disabilities.
Martha Stickings works as a researcher managing projects in the Equality Sector of FRA’s Equality and Citizens’ Rights Department. Her areas of expertise include: the rights of persons with disabilities, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and social research and analysis. Prior to joining FRA, she held a number of research-related roles in international organisations and NGOs. She studied politics and sociology and holds an MA in international studies.
Ambassador Christine Stix-Hackl, Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN Vienna, Austria Ambassador to Luxembourg (2007-11); Member of the Court of Justice of the European Union (2000-06); Consul – General in Switzerland; Permanent Agent of Austria before the Court of Justice of the EU, Head of European Union Legal Service in the Foreign Ministry (1992-2000). PhD in Law, Diploma in European Law (College of Europe) Teaching e.g. at Vienna University of Economics and Business Adm., Universities of St. Gall/Switzerland) and Saarbrücken/Germany; many publications on EU topics.
Minister of Social Affairs, Labour and Consumer Protection, Austria
Jenny has spent her career working with and on behalf of children and adults with disabilities; first as a music therapist with children and adults with disabilities in educational and community settings, then as an advocate and organizer. She currently serves as the Director of Education Policy with TASH—a national disability advocacy organization advocating for the human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs—where her work focuses primarily on TASH’s partnership to support the policy alignment work with the SWIFT Center, the national technical assistance center to build school wide inclusive practices that improve the academic and behavioral outcomes for all children.
Susanna Tadevosyan is the president of Armenian NGO “Bridge of Hope”. Her devotion to the rights of children with disabilities and her visionary leadership in the movement of inclusive education resulted in significant changes in inclusive education policies and practices. Today about 2800 children with disabilities have overcome their social isolation and attend inclusive schools. Since 2010 she launched advocacy for transition to total inclusive system of secondary education in Armenia.
Professional of Psychology and Education with over 15 years of experience, Ana Tamez has made the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in schools and workforce the main focus of her career for the last 8 years.As the Academia Director of the Universidad Tecnológica Santa Catarina, she is responsible for the coordination, supervision, evaluation and continual improvement of all academia related activities, oriented to extend the application of knowledge, science, technique and culture of University’s educational programs as well as the proper functions related to the teaching-learning process.
Mr. Tomassoni is 47 years old wheelchair user from the Republic of San Marino. He is the Founder and President of the NGO called Attiva-Mente. He was Parliamentarian from 2006 till early 2014, and in 2007 he served the role of Captain Regent (Head of State). He was member of various Commissions, among which the CRPD Commission of San Marino which it has been established after that his country ratified the UN Convention, as well as of the San Marino Delegation into the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Paula Toukonen (M.Soc.Sc) works since 2013 as a project worker on development projects of Aspa Foundation in Finland. Aspa helps persons with disabilities and people recovering from mental health problems to live independent and autonomous life. Aspas Work – path to participation -projects www-learning material has been selected to the Innovative Practices of the Zero Project 2016. Mrs Toukonen has also experience in youth work, communications and journalism.
Kathryn started her career in the project management industry after completing her degree in Communication from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England. It was through experiencing the building design and refurbishment process that her passion for accessibility and inclusion started, having seen first-hand the issues caused by physical barriers. She now leads the Accessibility programme at Barclays Bank, who have the ambition to be the most accessible and inclusive company in the FTSE 100.
Stefan Trömel is Senior Disability Specialist in the ILO. Between 2008 and 2013, he was coordinating the Secretariat of the International Disability Alliance. He was actively involved in the negotiation process of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Director of the European Disability Forum. Before 1999 and between 2004 and 2008, he have worked for Fundosa Grupo (Spain) in the area of employment of persons with disabilities.
Isabelle Turmaine is the Director of Information Projects and Services of the International Association of Universities (IAU), a Non-Governmental Organization, located in Paris, France representing higher education institutions and organizations from 120 countries. She was in charge of different projects which revolve around digital literacy, e-accessibility, Open Educational Resources (OER), and higher education for the United Nations’ Education For All (EFA) initiative. She is now in the process of developing the new IAU ICT strategy and activities. Prior to joining IAU, she was in charge of the implementation, in Africa, of e-campuses for the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). She holds a post-graduate diploma in information technologies.
Johannes Ungar is Co-founder and managing director of innovia, a private non for profit company aiming at supporting persons with (learning) disabilities, migrants and refugees to get the right education and to find and keep a job. Innovias speacialty is to work with peers – one third of the team are persons with disabilities. Johannes Ungar has been working for 18 years in the sector, starting and managing innovative projects. He is also board member of EASPD (European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities).
Hugo Van de Veire is director of the pupil’s guidance center in Gent (Belgium). This center is connected with 120 schools (primary and secondary) in the region of Gent. 45.000 pupils are attending these schools.Hugo Van de Veire is chairman of the Flemish board for Action Oriented Assessment and he participated in many Flemish and European projects for children with special needs (De Leidraad, Linker, Gemotiveerd, Daffodil, TEACH, GOAL, InClusieF,…). One of the results of these projects is the ‘Reasoned Report for Children with Special Needs’ that will be presented on the conference.
Agnes van Wijnen is projectleader of In1school since the project started in 2014. Educated as a social worker and political scientist, living with chronic pain, she works with her company Visie in Uitvoering as an independent strategic advisor, researcher and developer of projects, policy and practical instruments in the disability human rights field. Besides being an active member of the Coalition for Inclusion network and the core Group of the Dutch Alliance for Ratification and Implementation of the CRPD, she is currently the chair of DCDD, the Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development.
DI Christoph Veigl holds a master degree from the Technical University of Vienna. He currently leads the AsTeRICS-Academy project for Cross-Cultural Education in Assistive Technology, an internationalisation activity which is partly funded by the city of Vienna. He is responsible for the Project “Prosperity4All” where novel auto-personalisation strategies for ICT-based accessibility are developed together with 24 partner institutions. During the past 7 years, Christoph Veigl authored several scientific publications, contributed to journal articles and presented his work at various international conferences.
Yves started his career in IBM in 1992, and was successivly appointed as Information Officer for IBM Governmental Programs Europe in 1997, EU projects coordinator in 2003, Program Manager for Persons with Disabilities with the IBM Europe Middle East Africa Diversity team in 2005, Cross Generational Program Manager in 2007, Diversity leader of IBM Canada in 2011 and Global Disability & Inclusion Program Manager in 2014. He is also the author of a book “Les Roues de l’Infortune” in which he explains, through his own experience, what it means to become disabled after an accident and how to make other people, including employers, disability confident.
Jakob von Uexkull is the founder of the World Future Council (2007), which is a operating partner of the Zero Project since 2010. Jakob also founded the Right Livelihood Award (1980), often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. As a past Member of the European Parliament (1987-89) he served on the Political Affairs Committee and later on the UNESCO Commission on Human Duties and Responsibilities (1998-2000). Jakob has also served on the Board of Greenpeace, Germany, as well as the Council of Governance of Transparency International. He lectures widely on environment, justice and peace issues, and received numerous awards.
Germain Weber, Ph.D., is professor of Psychology, at the University of Vienna, Austria. He also teach clinical psychology on a regular basis at the Université du Luxembourg. Further, Dr. Weber is president of “Lebenshilfe Austria”, the major Austrian NGO for persons with intellectual disability. He is also Vice-President Europe of the “International Association on Scientific Studies in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities” (IASSIDD). Dr. Weber has authored over 100 publications and has lectured in many countries on topics of psychology, intellectual disability and aging including mental health issues. In 2000 Dr. Weber was awarded with the “International Award for Significant Contribution to Research, Policy and Practice in the Field of Intellectual Disability” offered by the “American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities”.
Claudia Werneck is a journalist and human rights activist. She has authored 14 books on inclusion that are available in Portuguese, English and Spanish. In 2000 she became the first Brazilian writer to have his/her work recommended by both UNESCO and UNICEF. With more than 40 Brazilian and international awards, she is a pioneer in the dissemination of the concept of inclusive society in Latin America. She is an Ashoka fellow and in 2002 she founded the NGO Escola de Gente – Comunicação em Inclusão. The organization is the recipient of the Brazilian Human Rights Prize of 2011 and the 2014 Order of Cultural Merit of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil.
Christoph Wiche was born on April the 10th 1970 in Düsseldorf. He has visited the Herrmann Horrix school for people with learning disabilities up to his age of 18 years and concluded with high school level A. From 1990 to June 1991 Christoph has taken a job creation at caritas Düsseldorf. From 2000 to 2006 he has worked at sheltered workshop. There he had to stop because of health problems. Since 2013 he is client representative at In der Gemeinde leben and lecturer for computer courses for seniors in PIKSL laboratory.
Claire is an exercise and health promotion specialist in paediatric rehabilitation at Princess Margaret Hospital. Claire is in her final year of her PhD, with her research focused on the evaluation and cross-cultural implementation of complex interventions and health promotion programs. Claire is involved in the development of outcome measures for children with disabilities in developing countries. She was an Australian representative at the International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability in 2014.
Franz Wolfmayr studied Sociology and Pedagogy. After completing his studies, he worked as a Special Educator and he was a founding member of Chance B Group in Gleisdorf, Austria. Since 1989 he worked as the manager of Chance B social enterprises in Gleisdorf. This organisation currently consists of 370 employees and support more than 2,700 persons with disabilities in Eastern Styria. Currently he is the president of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), a European Umbrella Network, representing more than 11,000 Service Providers in 33 European Countries.
Jan Wulf-Schnabel (PhD) is Head of Project „Inklusive Bildung” (Inclusion Education) at the Drachensee Foundation in Kiel (North Germany). Within a three-year qualification the project enable six people with so-called „intellectual disabilities” to convey their own expertise in universities. As qualified people they teach competently about their daily lives with disabilities to future professional and managerial staff. Students jointly learn about the lives, needs and subjective perceptions by people with disabilities.
Luk Zelderloo has been professionally active in the disability sector for more than 30 years. For the last 13 years, Mr Zelderloo has been active on the European level as well. He is one of the founding fathers of EASPD. He is the President of Cebob – De Link- a service providing organization & training centre in Flanders providing vocational training and job coaching for persons with disabilities, and a Board member of the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD).