The Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN)

Our department brings people together whose lives are impacted by special educational needs and inclusion. We drive meaningful change that benefits individuals, their families, and society as a whole. Our unrivalled breadth and depth of expertise across multiple specialisms, and our broad approach to inclusion, inform both our research and teaching.

 

Professor Karen Guldberg introduces the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN)

 

Members of DISN

Head of Department

Professor Karen Guldberg

Professor Karen Guldberg

Professor of Autism Studies
Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research and Head of Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN)

Dr Karen Guldberg is Professor in Autism Studies, Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) and Head of the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) at the School of Education, University of Birmingham.

Karen’s research and teaching focuses on autism studies in education, and on inclusive practice in education and provision.  

Karen's ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3470
Email
k.k.guldberg@bham.ac.uk

Academic Staff

Professor Julie Allan

Professor Julie Allan

Professor of Equity and Inclusion

Julie Allan is Professor of Equity and Inclusion and was formerly the Head of the School of Education. Her work encompasses inclusive education, disability studies and children’s rights and is both empirical and theoretical. She has a particular interest in educational theory and the insights offered through poststructural and social capital analyses. Julie has been advisor to the Scottish ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4853
Email
j.allan.1@bham.ac.uk

Ms Vikki Anderson

Ms Vikki Anderson

Teaching Fellow (Language, Literacies & Dyslexia)

Having begun her career as a teacher of German and English, Vikki went on to specialise in the field of learning difficulties and disabilities, teaching in mainstream, special, further and higher education. She is currently also a member of the University’s Learning Support Team where she works with a range of students with specific learning difficulties and delivers  Continuing ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 8820
Email
v.anderson@bham.ac.uk

Dr Sarah Benson

Dr Sarah Benson

Lecturer and Programme lead for Inclusion and Special Education Needs

Dr. Sarah Benson is a lecturer on inclusion and disabilities in the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs. She is the programme lead for the Inclusion and Special Education Needs PGCert and Masters’ in the UK and Dubai.

Dr. Benson has published articles and book chapters on inclusive policy in the Middle East. Her interests lie in not only inclusive policy, but new teacher ...

Email
s.k.benson@bham.ac.uk

Dr James Birchwood

Academic and Professional Tutor in Educational and Child Psychology

James is an Academic and Professional Tutor on the Educational Psychology doctoral training course. In addition to this role, James is a practicing Educational Psychologist working in a West Midlands Local Authority and is also a Regional Tutor on the MA Inclusion (Social, Emotional Behavioural Difficulties) distance learning degree in the School of Education.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4838
Email
j.f.birchwood@bham.ac.uk

Nick Bozic

Nick Bozic

Academic and Professional Tutor

Nick Bozic works as an academic and professional tutor on the initial training course for educational psychologists. Fifty percent of his time is spent working as a practicing educational psychologist in Birmingham Local Authority.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 5959
Email
n.m.bozic@bham.ac.uk

Dr Graeme Dobson

Dr Graeme Dobson

Associate Professor
Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement

Graeme is a Lecturer on the Dyslexia and Learning Difficulties (SLD) programme and on the Special Educational Needs Coordination (SENCO) programme in the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs.

He has extensive experience of working in a wide range of schools across the West Midlands. As well as holding various senior leadership roles within primary schools, he has also ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3805
Email
g.j.dobson@bham.ac.uk

Professor Graeme Douglas

Professor Graeme Douglas

Professor of Disability and Special Educational Needs
Co-director VICTAR

Graeme is Professor of Disability and Special Educational Needs in the School of Education, University of Birmingham. He was the head of the Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN)department (2015-2020). DISN is the largest department of its kind in the UK and comprises over 25 academics researching and studying in the field of inclusion, SEN and disability. He is also the co-director ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 6736
Email
g.g.a.douglas@bham.ac.uk

Neil Hall

Neil Hall

Lecturer in Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD)

Neil Hall is Lecturer in Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) in the Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs and is the Programme Lead for postgraduate qualifications in SEBD.

 

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4841
Email
n.hall.1@bham.ac.uk

Dr Penelope Hannant

Practitioner Tutor (SENCO) : teaching-focused

Having worked in biochemical research for a short period of time, Penelope Hannant’s career began as a class teacher progressing very quickly to senior management and ultimately headship, where she became an outstanding headteacher.

During her 24 years in education she became specifically interested in how children learn and how to support any difficulties and so became a specialist ...

Email
p.hannant@bham.ac.uk

Dr Julia Howe

Dr Julia Howe

Academic and Professional Tutor, educational psychology

Julia has a background in teaching in both secondary school and further education. She works part-time as a Senior Educational Psychologist for a local authority in the West Midlands.

Telephone
0121 414 4450
Email
j.howe.1@bham.ac.uk

Dr Lila Kossyvaki

Dr Lila Kossyvaki

Lecturer in Severe Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

Dr Lila Kossyvaki is a lecturer in Severe Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities in the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) at the School of Education. She is also a member of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER).

Lila is a chartered psychologist and a SEN teacher. She has a strong interest in school and home-based interventions to ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3464
Email
a.kossyvaki@bham.ac.uk

Dr Andrea MacLeod

Dr Andrea MacLeod

Lecturer in Autism

Before joining the University Andrea worked in the voluntary sector, supporting adults with disabilities. She developed and managed models of support (including supported living, employment, peer support and community inclusion) for adults with Asperger syndrome within the West Midlands region.

Telephone
+44 (0) 121 415 8442
Email
a.g.macleod@bham.ac.uk

Dr Valentina Migliarini

Dr Valentina Migliarini

Assistant Professor in Education Studies

Dr. Valentina Migliarini is an Assistant Professor in Education Studies in the School of Education in the Department of Education and Social Justice.

Her work, both in research and teaching, focuses on increasing access to equitable education for students from multiply marginalised communities, specifically disabled students from migrant and forced migrant backgrounds, in secondary education. ...

Email
v.migliarini@bham.ac.uk

Dr Maria Reraki

Dr Maria Reraki

Lecturer in Language, Literacies and Dyslexia

Dr Maria Reraki is a lecturer and the programme leader for the MEd course in Dyslexia and Learning Difficulties (SLD) in the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) at the School of Education.

Maria is a qualified teacher specialised in teaching English to learners of other languages that have dyslexia/literacy difficulties. She has a strong interest in assessments and ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4832
Email
m.reraki@bham.ac.uk

Dr Anita Soni

Dr Anita Soni

Academic and professional tutor

Anita is interested in working with children and their families in their early years of life, between birth and 7 years. She is enthusiastic about developing the skills of the Children’s Workforce, especially those working in Children’s Centres, and early childhood/years provision in the maintained, voluntary and independent sectors. This includes teachers, managers, teaching ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3603
Email
a.soni@bham.ac.uk

Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi

Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi

Associate Professor in Deaf Education

Emmanouela is an experienced teacher and researcher, working with deaf children. She is particularly interested in literacy development and social emotional development of deaf children and adolescents and how this can be enhanced by early identification and hearing aid technology.

The School of Education has the largest course for providing training for teachers who wish to gain the mandatory ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4876
Email
m.e.terlektsi@bham.ac.uk

Dr Huw Williams

Dr Huw Williams

Tutor in Educational Psychology

Dr Huw Williams is a Chartered Senior Educational Psychologist registered with the Health Care Professions Council who teaches on the Applied Educational and Child Psychology programme. As an Academic and Professional Tutor Huw supervises Trainee Educational Psychologists and coordinates the Complex Individual Needs module for first year Trainees. Huw is interested in promoting the use of ...

Telephone
+44 (0) 121 414 4453
Email
h.williams@bham.ac.uk

Angela Wootten

Angela Wootten

Teaching Fellow in Education (Deafness and Hearing Impairment)

Angie Wootten has been a practising teacher of deaf children and young people for 32 years. She has worked with children and young people of all ages and in a range of provisions. Up until recently she worked as a hearing advisory teacher with Warwickshire’s Local Authority team.

Angie worked as a placement supervisor and a regional tutor for the university’s course Teachers of ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4448
Email
a.wootten@bham.ac.uk

Associated Staff

Professor Rita Jordan

Professor Rita Jordan

Emeritus Professor in Autism Studies
Self Employment as Autism Consultant

After a Psychology degree, Rita taught in mainstream and special schools which included nine years as Deputy Principal for a school for children on the autism spectrum. She also taught special needs, language development, clinical linguistics, education, and cognitive science in higher education. From 1993, she developed and ran a range of professional development programmes in autism studies ...

Email
r.r.jordan@bham.ac.uk

Professor Ann Lewis

Professor Ann Lewis

Emeritus Professor (Special Education and Educational Psychology)

Ann Lewis is Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham (UK) where she was research leader for a unique, 35-strong, academic group focusing on children with special needs or disabilities. She is also Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick (UK).

She has a longstanding interest in the ‘voice’ of disabled children, in particular, conceptual and methodological aspects ...

Email
a.lewis@bham.ac.uk

Professor Mike McLinden

Professor Mike McLinden

Emeritus Professor

With over 25 years’ experience of teaching in schools and Higher Education (HE) Mike has extensive experience of curriculum design, delivery and evaluation as a teacher, lecturer, senior manager and a researcher. Mike’s research interests include developing and promoting ‘research-informed’ pedagogical practice within HE with a particular focus on student-centred ...

Email
m.t.mclinden@bham.ac.uk

Mrs Sue Morris

Honorary Senior Lecturer

Sue has been a practising educational psychologist for more than 25 years, and, in addition to her teaching and research responsibilities within the University, continues to practice as a chartered educational psychologist on a 0.1 full-time equivalent basis.

Telephone
+44(0)121 414 4880
Email
s.k.morris@bham.ac.uk

Professor Gary Thomas

Professor Gary Thomas

Emeritus Professor of Inclusion and Diversity

Professor Gary Thomas took up the post of chair in education at Birmingham in 2005. Before university teaching, he worked as a teacher and as an educational psychologist. In higher education – at the University of Leeds, at Oxford Brookes University, UWE and University College London – his teaching and research have focused on inclusion, special education, and research methodology in ...

Email
g.thomas.3@bham.ac.uk

Dr Linda Watson

Dr Linda Watson

Honorary Senior Lecturer (Deafness and Hearing Impairment)

Linda has a background of experience as a teacher of the deaf and educational audiologist and her research and teaching are rooted in this experience. She is particularly interested in the early language and literacy development of young deaf children and how this can be enhanced by the use of cochlear implants and/or digital hearing aids. She has a collaboration with the University of Melbourne ...

Email
l.m.watson@bham.ac.uk

Department Administrator

Email disn-admin@contacts.bham.ac.uk

 

Upcoming Events

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Latest DISN publications

Soni, A, Reyes Soto, M & Lynch, P 2022, 'A review of the factors affecting children with disabilities’ successful transition to early childhood care and primary education in sub-Saharan Africa', Journal of Early Childhood Research, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 59-79. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X211035428

Fong, H & Soni, A 2022, 'A systematic review on test anxiety in children and young people with learning difficulties', Support for Learning, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 21-43. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9604.12393

Soni, A, Fong, H & Janda, T 2022, 'An exploration of two supervisors’ engagement in a transcultural supervision exercise to support culturally responsive supervision with trainee educational psychologists (TEPs)', Educational Psychology in Practice, vol. 38, no. 2. https://doi.org/10.1080/02667363.2022.2059450

Greaves, K, Perepa, P & Bobb, V 2022, Autism, ethnicity and culture: developing culturally responsive practice. in J Gainsborough (ed.), Educational Psychology Perspectives on Supporting Young Autistic People: Insights from Experience, Practice and Research. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, pp. 243-266. <https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/robyn-steward/educational-psychology-perspectives-on-supporting-young-autistic-people/9781787758209/>

Soni, A 2022, 'Coordinating intervention: Supporting children with disabilities in Malawi' International Teacher magazine.

View all Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs publications in research portal

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