Speakers' short bios
Julie Allan is Professor of Equity and Inclusion, Head of the Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs at the University of Birmingham. 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 Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Dutch and Queensland Governments and has worked extensively with the Council of Europe.
Christy Ashby, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Teaching and Leadership Department of the School of Education at Syracuse University. She teaches in the Inclusive Elementary and Special Education Program and coordinates the Inclusive Education Masters' Programs. She is the Director of the Institute on Communication and Inclusion, which conducts research, training and dissemination of information on communication strategies for individuals with disabilities who are non-speaking or have limited speech.
Luciano Benadusi, formerly Professor of Sociology of Education at the University "La Sapienza" (Rome), is member of the OECD group on the Indicators of Equity in Education. He is chief editor of the journal "Scuola Democratica". His main research areas are: equality and equity in education, higher education policy, school policies and school management, learning competences, relationships between school and work.
Maria-Luise Braunsteiner, (Ph.D.) specialized in policies and practices toward inclusive education at the University College of Teacher Education, Lower Austria. Prior to that, she served as a primary and special education teacher in Vienna. Her main research focus is on implementing inclusive education in mainstream schools and higher education. She was recently named as the Austrian teacher-education-college representative to serve on a federal Quality-Assurance Council.
Fabio Dovigo, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor for Educational Research, Organizational Theory and Design, Organizational Research Methods at the University of Bergamo. He is Co-ordinator of International Relations at the Department of Human and Social Sciences. His research interests include research methods in education and organization, inclusive education. Among other publications, he was responsible for the Italian translation of the Index for inclusion.
Sanja Hadzihajdic works as an Expert Adviser for Education Affairs at the Pedagogical Institute of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Zenica-Doboj Canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2007, when the Index for Inclusion was first introduced in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she has been actively involved in the development and application of the methodology of the Index for Inclusion in schools.
Eva Hjörne is a Professsor in Education and Director of the Platform for Research in Inclusive Education and School Development (PRIS), at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interests are in the analysis of learning and social interaction in the inclusive school, processes of marginalisation and mediated action with special focus on categorising and identity formation of students in school.
Sai Väyrynen has more than a decade of service in international education as an adviser to a number of Ministries of Education in developing countries. She has working experience from several African countries, and countries in transition in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She has lived and worked in Zimbabwe, France, South Africa and Tanzania, and studied in the UK. Sai works currently as a Senior Lecturer in Special Needs Education at the Open University of Helsinki.