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GESS Talks Webinar 12 - Inclusive education; what does it truly mean in today's circumstances?

GESS Talks Webinar 12 - Inclusive education; what does it truly mean?

This webinar will focus on and discuss the importance of achieving inclusivity in education. What does this truly mean and how can educators help overcome any obstacles? 

Taking place on Wednesday 19 October, 16:00 GST/UAE, 13:00 BST/UK time, the webinar will discuss a variety of experiences and best practices from those involved in education or with students and families on a day to day basis. Why is inclusion so important and why is the gap between inclusive education and inclusive workplaces significant? How can schools play a role in addressing this issue? Our panellists will share valuable insight on the biggest challenges being faced and how education leaders can support families in preparing their children for the future.

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Chairperson: Catherine O’Farrell, Founder, Incluzun

Catherine O'Farrell is one of the founders of, an organisation supporting people of determination in a holistic way across the MENA region. Catherine has been working in education and inclusion for almost 20 years, she has degrees in Education, Psychology and a masters in Engineering. She is passionate about developing opportunities for children with individual needs. She has been a Group Head for some of the region's largest educational providers and has worked with international and national committees from the Global Sustainability Network to the Ministry of Education here in the UAE to push for a more sustainable and inclusive world. Catherine is a regular media contributor and conference speaker.

Dr. Ayesha Saeed Husaini, Director, Manzil Center

Dr. Husaini – Founder Director is one of the rare Directors in the region with a Ph.D. in Special Education, from the University of Sheffield, UK. Her thesis on ‘Inclusion in the UAE' gives her a unique grounding on the needs of UAE society and how best to include individuals with disabilities. She also has a Doctor of Letters Honorary Degree from the University of Sheffield, UK. Her Psychology Honours Thesis in the disability arena ranked First in Delhi University, and she also got a University Ranking in her Master's Degree in Social Work. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management and has recently been awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by The University of Sheffield in recognition of her achievements in supporting the educational needs of individuals with disabilities. She has over 20 years of experience in the inclusion arena and has won several special education, social impact, and business awards. She continues to work closely with the UAE Government & serves on Dubai's Community Development Authority PWD Advocacy Committee as well as Abu Dhabi’s AccessAbilities Expo Advisory Board. She has signed MoUs with the Ministry of Education & Ajman Chamber of Commerce to roll out inclusion mandates. She is also the Head of the Advisory Board for ILM Consultants, an organization focusing on workplace inclusion, and serves as the Governor of Inclusion on the Boards of several schools in the UAE.

Massrat Shaikh, Educational Psychologist, Al Ahlam Training and Higher Education Services, Oman

I am an Educational Psychologist with deep expertise in area of special needs education. I am a clinician with expertise in learning disabilities and diagnostics. I have been associated with Al Ahlam Training and Higher Education Services in Oman for more than ten years, and I am a consultant to most of the schools in Oman. To bring transformation to our education system, I advocate for the education of SEN learners. Supporting SEN students learning, and social-emotional growth is the aim of my work. I am a provider for learning solutions, and I focus on bringing together EdTech solutions for special needs learners. I believe EdTech intervention can transform the way children learn. As an educator and leader for Social-Emotional Learning and Mindfulness, I integrate technology with social-emotional learning goals. I am also a career guidance counselor, and I specialize in identifying students' interests and areas for vocational training and higher education options.

Carrie Green, Program Director, Maharat Learning Center

Carrie is the Program Director at Maharat Learning Center. She graduated from and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, in May 2003. She then received a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities in August 2004 from Auburn University. In December 2004, Carrie received her certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB®) and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). Carrie has been working in the field of Autism and Developmental Disabilities for 19 years in settings spanning across adult group homes and day centers, child day centers, clinic settings, and school and residential facilities in America, Europe, and the Middle East. She has worked with individuals from age 2 to age 50 and across a vast behavioral repertoire. Throughout her career, Carrie has been involved in individual programmatic work, organization-wide and State-wide policy reform, expanding the awareness and services of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and the opening of an ABA school in Ireland.

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