Fiona Hallett Edge Hill University, UK
Dr. Fiona Hallett, reader in education, is currently the lead European Union (EU) academic in the European Tempus IV project (ASPIRE) with nine other partners in Germany, Ireland, Georgia, Slovakia, and Armenia. The ASPIRE team is working with ministries, universities, and non-governmental organizations in Armenia and Georgia to rethink approaches to individuals with additional needs. A particular aim of this project is to decrease barriers to higher education for individuals with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Fiona is leading the evaluation of the project and is currently disseminating the project results across and beyond Georgia and Armenia. For her PhD, Fiona analyzed the reality of academic support in higher education and has published a number of articles and book chapters from this. For her research, she interviewed students, learning support staff, and academic staff about their perceptions and experiences of the role of student support. As a result, she recently co-authored a text on reflective teaching in higher education. Fiona has published widely in the field of inclusive and special education and was appointed editor of the British Journal of Special Education in 2011. Since 2004, she has led a number of postgraduate education programs, including an MA in autistic spectrum disorders, an MA in special educational needs, and an MA in social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. Her research interests include working with individuals with special needs and understanding the factors which impact their educational and social exclusion and inclusion. Her work has shown that access to education for individuals with special educational needs is far from straightforward, despite the legislation and rhetoric of inclusion.