Week 5 Biographies

Paddy Turner

Paddy Turner (SFHEA) has worked at Sheffield Hallam University since 1998 covering all aspects of disabled student support from direct student support to management and research. He has at all times retained a passion for improving access to and inclusion within, the academic and cultural environment.

He was Head of Inclusive Practice (Disability) until 2011 and is now an Education Developer supporting academic staff towards Advance HE (HEA) Fellowship recognition and developing inclusive teaching and learning practice.

Paddy has been a Director of NADP since 2005 including serving two terms as Chair (2011-18) and is passionate about the benefits NADP has to offer members and, by extension, the students and staff they work with.

Fiona Kolontari

Fiona has worked in the field of disability support for over 20 years, in a variety of roles in compulsory education, voluntary sector and higher education. She currently works as Specialist Tutor (Dyslexia / Neurodiversity) at the University of Wolverhampton, delivering individually tailored study skills programmes for students with specific learning differences (SpLD) and autism spectrum conditions. She has a PG Cert in SpLD (FE/HE) with BDA approved teacher status and a PG Cert Academic Practice. She teaches and supports students across all subjects and faculties, at levels 3-8, has been in post since 2014. Prior to this, she worked in a similar role at Harper Adams University for two years.

As a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fiona has developed successful initiatives designed to embed inclusive teaching and learning within the wider University, as well as training staff in disability awareness, inclusive curriculum design and assistive technologies. She holds a SEDA qualification in Leading and Embedding Technology-Enhanced Learning and is also a member of the British Education Studies Association.

Amy Low

Amy is Service Delivery Director at AbilityNet, a technology charity that supports disabled people to achieve their objectives at home, at work and in education.

Having spent 15 years working in a variety of roles within serviced property and IT providers, Amy joined AbilityNet in 2016, drawn by the opportunity to leverage technology to bring down barriers to participation for disabled people. She feels privileged to work with a fantastic team of talented individuals working towards AbilityNet’s vision: A digital world accessible to all. Amy is also a trustee of CITA, the Charity IT Association, CITA has a team of highly skilled IT volunteers that provide low cost IT support and strategic advice to the charity sector to enable them to use technology to increase their reach and impact. 

Alison Phillips

Alison is a Disability Adviser at Sheffield Hallam University. She has been a Disability Adviser for approximately 14 years, previously working at the University of Westminster and Roehampton University London. She has a long-standing interest in British Sign Language and has completed an MSc in Deaf Studies, where she researched the provision of support for D/deaf students in higher education. This led to working as a Disability Adviser and broadening her interest and knowledge of all disabilities. 

She regularly advises disabled students on support they can receive at University and works closely with staff across the University and externally, aiming to provide high quality support. She enjoys working on projects to try to streamline and improve services, for both students and staff. 

She has been involved in the NADP Accreditation scheme since the pilot and is now a reviewer for submissions. 

Professor Nicola Martin

Dr Nicola Martin has worked with disabled people  in education for over 30 years and is currently  Professor leading on research, higher degrees and student experience in education at London South Bank University.  Her research interests and approach to teaching are driven by a commitment to equality and social justice,  emancipatory research  and ensuring that narratives of marginalised people inform her practice.

Nicola has developed a range of social justice focused higher degrees including an EdD and MA programmes in education which focus on autism, disability and leadership. The portfolio includes a PG Cert. specifically focused on mentoring of people on the autism spectrum in post compulsory education.  Courses are informed by the lived experiences of disabled and marginalised people.

Nicola’s academic area is Critical Disability Studies, with a focus on the requirements of students with autism.  She is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, working on autism research with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. Her autism research is highly influential internationally. She is a National Teaching Fellow and a Fellow at Sheffield Hallam and of the Royal Society of Arts.

Christine Werrell

Christine Werrell is the Disability and Dyslexia Service Manager at Cardiff University. The Service offers students a full range of support and includes the DSA Assessment Centre Cardiff.

Christine has worked in several areas of disabled student support since 1999, including study skills tuition, DSA needs assessments and disability advice. She was the Disability Co-ordinator for the University Wales College of Medicine, having responsibility for institutional policy and developments, before the College merged with Cardiff University. Working in a small specialist health focused HEI has given Christine an interest in the relationship between professional bodies, disability discrimination and education.

Christine believes in creating an inclusive environment in which disabled students feel supported to face the academic challenges of higher education and completed her MSc Equality and Diversity research project on the inclusive curriculum. Christine was Chair of Skill Wales and member of Skill Council from 2006 until its demise in 2011.

Video Presentations

Holly Burkinshaw

Holly Burkinshaw is a teacher and a  final year PhD student at the University of Sheffield. Her PhD is an exploration into how young people experience long term or recurring hospitalisation and medicalisation. She is one of the few PhD students to become a senior fellow of the HEA.

Vicky Cartledge-Mann

Vicky Cartledge-Mann is the Academic Director for the Specialist SpLD Tutorial Team at the University of Sheffield. She has been a specialist SpLD teacher since 2009, and specialises in dyscalculia, English as an additional language, and how students and tutors experience the SpLD tutorial space. She is a senior fellow of the HEA, and her preferred theoretical frameworks are space theories, and critical disability studies.

Lynn Wilson

Lynn Wilson has been involved with lecturing in critical disability studies; disability support and her own disability research in both teaching and research universities since 2001 but made the change to become the Operations Manager for NADP in 2015 and Executive Director in 2021.

She currently represents the NADP on the OIA Disability Experts panel, the All-Party Group on Assistive Technology and the disability panel for AccessHE. She has extensive experience in training for equality and disability issues and acts as an editor for the Journal of Inclusive Practice in FE and HE.

Lynn reluctantly had to leave her study for an Educational Doctorate at the UCL Institute of Education with her research examining breached psychological contracting as one possible cause for the disproportionate number of complaints made by disabled students to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Her research has involved both qualitative and quantitative methodologies with a focus on survey design for her research Masters and phenomenography for her Doctorate.