The professional relevance of work by members of the Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs is fostered through well-established links with practitioners working in schools and services as well as involvement with parent groups. Members of the department hold senior positions within over 40 voluntary bodies including The Association of Workers for Children with Emotional and Behaviour Difficulties (AWCEBD), The National Autistic Society (NAS), The National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) and The International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment.
The Group is also represented on the editorial boards of nearly 20 major journals in the field such as The British Journal of Visual Impairment, Disability and Society, Deafness and Education International, Educational Research, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, Good Autism Practice, International Journal of Research and Method in Education, Journal of International Special Educational Needs, Journal of International Special Education and Services, and SENCO Update.
Head of Department
Head of Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN)
Rachel Hewett is an Associate Professor in School of Education. She is currently Head of Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs and co-director of Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR).
She joined VICTAR as a Research Associate in 2010, before progressing to a Research Fellow in October 2012 and was appointed as a Birmingham Fellow in September 2017. ...
- +44 (0)121 414 4394
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 ...
- +44 (0)121 414 4853
Teaching Fellow (PGCert Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties)
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 settings.
Before joining the University of Birmingham, she worked at the University of Wolverhampton as a Senior Lecturer on the BA Special Educational Needs and Inclusion programme. In ...
Associate Professor and Programme lead for Inclusion and Special Education Needs
Dr. Sarah Benson is an Associate Professor in 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 ...
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.
- +44 (0)121 414 5959
Katie is an Academic and Professional Tutor on the Applied Educational and Child Psychology Doctoral Programme at the University of Birmingham. In addition to this role, Katie is a practising Educational Psychologist working for a West Midlands Local Authority.
Professor of Disability and Special Educational Needs
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 ...
- +44 (0)121 414 6736
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Eli Gemegah's current research aims to highlight contextual, experiential and psychological factors that influence (determine or threaten) the wellbeing of Black caregivers of children with ASD in the UK. This research measures the impact of autism on Black parents to raise awareness and begin dialogue that addresses transnational and global issues, while providing a framework to address ...
Head of the School of Education and Professor of Autism Studies
Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research
Dr Karen Guldberg is Head of the School of Education, Professor in Autism Studies and Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) 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 most recent publications include the book De ...
- +44 (0)121 414 3470
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.
- +44 (0)121 414 4841
Programme Lead : Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties
Having worked in biochemical research for a short period of time, Penny’s career began as a class teacher progressing very quickly to senior management and ultimately headship, where she became an outstanding headteacher.
During her 26 years in education, she became specifically interested in how children learn and how to support difficulties in the classroom and so became a specialist ...
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.
- 0121 414 4450
Clara R. Jørgensen is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs. She is a social anthropologist of background and has done qualitative and ethnographic research in a range of educational settings including in the UK, Spain and Latin America, where she has explored educational inequalities, school policies and practices, inclusive ...
Associate Professor 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.
- +44 (0) 121 415 8442
Academic and Professional Tutor
Siya Mngaza is an Academic and Professional Tutor on the Educational and Child Psychology Doctorate at the University of Birmingham. She also works within schools and community settings as a practitioner psychologist. Siya's research interests include racial identity development, school belonging and post-traumatic growth. Siya is interested in broadening research methods within educational and ...
Dr Francesca Peruzzo is a Research Fellow in Educational Equity and Policy. Her research interests lie in the intersection between politics, policy, education governance and inclusion, using in particular post-structural and decolonial approaches. More specifically, her work focusses on the analysis of education policies and inclusive education, exploring the role of the state, processes of ...
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 ...
- +44 (0)121 414 3603
Educational Psychology Tutor
Anjam is an Academic and Professional Tutor on the Applied Educational and Child Psychology doctoral programme. She is also a Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist working for a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service in the West Midlands.
Anjam worked as a Teacher of Science in the West Midlands for six years and completed a conversion course in psychology whilst teaching. She ...
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 ...
- +44 (0)121 414 4876
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 ...
- +44 (0)121 414 4448
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
- +44(0)121 414 4880
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 ...
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 ...