This year there are 4 speakers at each event!
Below are all the speakers profiles and external links you can find out lots more about what they do and the impact they have made in supporting interaction for people with additional needs.
Alison Birch presenting in Preston - Everyday Sensory Experience
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1980 and went straight into Paediatrics working in a variety of special schools and also working with those with special needs in mainstream schools. My main areas of work were treating children to improve their hand eye co-ordination, perception, activities of daily living and also working in the development and provision of special seating and aids and equipment. I joined the Child Development Centre multi disciplinary team where my speciality was working with cerebral palsy children, using the Bobath Neurodevelomental approach.
In 1993 I became the Manager of The SPACE Centre and am responsible for the smooth running of the centre, training staff and carers to use the Multi Sensory room to its best effect and developing new equipment/ session ideas in SPACE. I also advise others how to develop their own rooms, do talks and lectures on the use of Multi sensory rooms and am involved in developing research projects into the use of such rooms. In 2004 I qualified as a Person Centred counsellor which reinforces my work with clients with special needs, giving them respect and empathy and ensuring experiences at SPACE are led by the clients’ needs.
I have been at SPACE since it opened in 1993 and am still passionate about the benefits to those with special needs. I have seen fantastic results from children speaking for the first time to those with profound disabilities being able to use the little movement they have to control some aspect in their world. Perhaps best of all is seeing the pleasure shared by families and friends visiting SPACE.
Links - www.thespacecentre.org
Lynn McCann presenting in Preston - Having personal conversations
Lynn McCann is an independent Autism Specialist Teacher and author of “How to support children with ASC in Primary school” and “How to support students with ASC in Secondary School” published by LDA 2107. She has taught in mainstream and special schools and now supports children with autism from the age of 5-16 in many different settings. Lynn also writes and delivers Autism training for schools, businesses, churches and charities and is an assessor for the NAS Autism Accreditation Scheme.
Links - www.reachoutasc.com
Rachael Moat presenting in Preston, London & Bristol - The power of music & vibration
Rachael Moat designs customised music technology for children with complex learning difficulties.
Rachael is a classical musician and music teacher by formal training. She was named Tech4Good IT Volunteer of the Year 2015 for her work with music, technology and children with additional needs at at Royal School Manchester, Seashell Trust. She received funding from Arts Council England and Innovate UK in 2016 for her work as part of the inaugural Arts+Tech programme at MadLab, Manchester, and was awarded a grant from Innovate UK to further develop this work during 2017.
Rachael is also the organiser of Drake Music Lab North, a group of music technology enthusiasts who collaborate with disabled musicians to develop assistive music technology.
The Guardian also wrote about her work:
Keith Park presenting in Preston, London & Bristol - Interactive Storytelling
Keith Park has worked in special educational settings in the UK and Australia for more years than he cares to remember. With Nicola Grove, he is the co - author of ' Odyssey Now ' and ' Macbeth in Mind ', the first two books to make classical literature - Homer accessible and Shakespeare - accessible to people with severe and profound learning disabilities.
His award winning book ' Interactive Storytelling ' contains a variety of storytelling scripts on a number of topics: Shakespeare, pantomime, Bible Stories in Cockney Rhyming Slang, folk tales from around the world, Sea shanties, humorous verse, and pantomime.
Lynsey Robinson presenting in London & Bristol - Sensory nature based activities
Lynsey is an inclusive designer at the Sensory Trust and part of the creative resource development team, developing and producing new ways of engaging people with their environment through nature-based activities. Her focus is the development of sensory engagement approaches to build lasting connections between marginalised people and their local places and communities.
Links - www.sensorytrust.org.uk
Luana Winston presenting in London & Bristol - Understanding CVI and how to support visual needs
I'm a PMLD/sensory lead teacher at a school in Torquay, Devon (Mayfield School) where I have taught children with complex needs for almost 10 years. I have the MQVI (mandatory qualification for visual impairment) qualification and lead the education of children with visual impairments. I specialise in creating teaching programs for learners with CVI's and have a special interest in this exciting area. Working in a mixed special school I have been able to combine my understanding of visual impairments with those of children with sensory processing disorders and embark on some new and exciting programs with these children. My own class are a fantastic mix of children with profound learning difficulties, visual impairments, sensory processing difficulties and medical dependency.
On a personal level, I run 2 small special needs charities, one offering weekend respite in our local area to children with complex needs and the other offering educational opportunities to children with disabilities in a rural corner of Uganda. Both are a lot of fun and offer me no end of opportunities for testing my programs and interacting with children and families.