Milton Humberto López Diosdado

Monterrey, Mexico

Normal de Especialización “Humberto Ramos Lozano”

I’m a master degree student at Normal de Especializacion Humberto Ramos Lozano in Monterrey, Mexico, researching in the field of inclusive education. The purpose of my research is to create an innovation proposal in which the role of the special education professional is aim to be modified, focusing on their actions in the context of inclusive education. On the same manner, the contributions made by teachers in different contexts and subject matter experts in inclusive education were taken into account, pointing out the importance of collaboration, attention to diversity and constant update so that the inclusive educational professional profile could meet.

I am part of the design team of the curriculum reform degree in Special Education. As part of my overall development as a teacher I am in the club of “Running towards Inclusion” of my institution, which promotes inclusion in city races.

Soy estudiante de maestría en educación inclusiva en la Normal de Especialización “Humberto Ramos Lozano” en Monterrey, México. El propósito de mi investigación es realizar una propuesta de innovación sobre el rol del profesional de educación especial, teniendo como objetivo su actuar en el marco de la educación inclusiva. De igual manera se toman a consideración las aportaciones realizadas por docentes de distintos contextos y expertos en el tema de educación inclusiva, se señala la importancia de la colaboración, la atención a la diversidad y la actualización constante del docente para así cumplir con el perfil de un profesional en apoyo a la inclusión, todo esto como resultado del trabajo de campo que se realizo.

Formo parte del equipo de diseño curricular de la reforma de la Licenciatura en Educación Especial. Como parte de mi desarrollo integral como docente estoy en el club de “Correr por la Inclusión” de mi institución, en el cual promovemos la inclusión en carreras de la ciudad.


Jacqueline Rodriguez , University of Central Florida

My name is Jacqueline (Jackie) Rodriguez, and I am the DISES Student Representative to the 2012 DISES Board. I met many of you at the CEC Annual Convention in April and I look forward to meeting more of you throughout the year. This is the inaugural Student Spotlight and I hope it will motivate DISES Student Members to submit their own spotlight abstract for inclusion on our new website! We plan to post a new student spotlight each month in an effort to highlight our DISES Student Members and the contributions you make to the international special educaiton community.

I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Exceptional Education department of the University of Central Florida. My research interests include capacity building through global inclusive education policy and practice- specifically in developing and post conflict areas, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education for culturally and linguistically diverse students with special needs, and urban teacher preparation.

This fall I’ll have the great fortune to intern with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Amman, Jordan and West Bank, Palestine. While interning I’ll be collecting my dissertation data on promising inclusive education practices employed by UNRWA educators. I’m looking forward to learning more about UNRWA’s new inclusive education reform and the current status of inclusion of students with special needs in UNRWA schools.

At UCF I work on a team of incredibly talented professors and colleagues who have developed a “mixed-reality” teaching experience called TLE TeachLivE. TeachLivE uses avatar students to help prepare pre-service and in-service teachers who practicing or refining their teaching skills. As the program director for the TLE TeachLivE™ Lab, I am responsible for assisting in project development including scale up procedures and coordination of university partners in system protocols and teacher programming. Check out the website for TeachLivE™!

Prior to entering the PhD program at University of Central Florida, I was a special educator in Washington, D.C., and Florida. I’ve worked in the public, private and charter systems of education to facilitate the move towards inclusive education and provide research-based practices for co-teaching in the general education classroom.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a member of DISES is to reach out to other members for support and mentorship. Mentorship of prospective and early career special educators is vital to the success of our students with special needs. My mentors in DISES afforded me the opportunity of interning with UNRWA this fall and have continued to support my growth as a student and advocate. Please consider reaching out to me and other DISES members if you have questions about becoming more involved as student members.



Serra Acar, Bogazici University

My name is Serra Acar. I am from Istanbul, Turkey.

After graduation from my undergraduate studies with a B.A. degree in early childhood education from Bogazici University, I worked as a preschool teacher for two years in Istanbul. Then, I moved to the United States and earned my master’s degree in the birth-kindergarten: interdisciplinary studies in education and development (BK:ISED) program at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in the early intervention program at University of Oregon. My research interests include family involvement in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE), positive behavior support for young children, screening and assessment of young children, and evidence-based early intervention practices. For my dissertation, I am developing a “Family-Centered Practices Profile” which aims to assess the quality of provisions and daily classroom practices that support the family-centered practices in EI programs. Throughout this year, I’ll be working on testing construct and content validity, and utility of the profile. I would be more than happy to connect with DISES members from all around the world and learn from their experiences about family-centered practices in EI. I can be reached at



İsim Serra Acar. Ben İstanbul, Türkiye’den geliyorum.

Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, okul öncesi eğitim programından mezun olduktan sonra, İstanbul’da iki yıl bu alanda çalıştım. Sonra, ABD’ye taşındım ve Kuzey Carolina Greensboro Üniversitesi’nde doğum- anaokulu: eğitim ve gelişimde disiplinlerarası çalışmalar master programını tamamladım.

Şu anda, Oregon Üniversitesi’nde erken müdahale programına doktora öğrencisiyim. Araştırma alanlarım: erken müdahale/ okul öncesi özel eğitimde aile katılımı, erken yaştaki çocuklar için olumlu davranış desteği, erken yaştaki çocuk gelişiminin ölçme ve değerlendirilmesi, ve ispata dayali erken erken müdahale uygulamaları. Tezim için, erken müdahale programlarında ve günlük sınıf içinde aile merkezli uygulamaların kalitesini değerlendirmeyi için amaçlayan bir “Aile Merkezli Uygulama Profili” geliştiriyorum. Bu yıl boyunca, profilin geçerlilik ve uygulanabilirlilik araştırmaları üzerinde çalışıyor olacağım. Dünyanın her yerinden DISES üyeleri ile iletişime geçip onların aile merkezli uygulamalar hakkındaki deneyimlerini öğrenmekten mutluluk duyarım. Bana adresinden ulaşabilirsiniz.


Ruby Owiny, University of Kentucky

I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. My research interest lies in improving inclusive classroom practice both in the United States and internationally. While at UK, I have worked with Dr. Grisham-Brown in Guatemala to identify effective teaching practices that are used in both inclusive and special education settings. My dissertation seeks to answer the question of how effective virtual mentoring can be on training teachers in three target teacher behaviors with four teachers in three schools in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

I also serve as co-founder and director of Project REACH, a ministry to teachers in third-world countries to support schools and train teachers in methods of instruction with an inclusion model. We have worked in Bolivia and Guatemala and are beginning partnerships in Kenya and Tanzania.

Prior to entering my Ph.D. program, I taught 13 years in low-income schools. I taught six years in general education and 7 years in special education, mainly at the primary level. During my tenure as a special educator, I worked toward helping create improved inclusive classrooms using evidence-based practice.


Lauren Elaine Hitchin, The University of Auckland

Hello from New Zealand. I am a doctoral student at The University of Auckland, researching in the field of disability. My thesis examines the lived experiences of New Zealand young carers; ‘youth’ providing significant care for persons who have a disability, illness, or whom are elderly. As a young carer for my brother who has an intellectual disability, this is an area in which I have great passion. I am thoroughly enjoying my research experience, especially blogging about my life as a young carer as part of my auto ethnographic study:, and spending more one-on-one time with my brother.

The proposed outcome of my thesis is a supportive social network for New Zealand young carers and the persons in their care.

My extracurricular activities include volunteering for the Recreate Disability Organisation, in which I am committed to enhancing the development and independence of young people who have disabilities through quality, fun activities: Being the President of The Faculty of Education Postgraduate Students Association, in which I represent the student voice, and: Playing sports with my colleagues.

Prior to my PhD I completed my Bachelor of Education (Primary Specialisation) in 2010, and my Honours in Education in 2011.


Aleksandra Ristić, University of Ljubljana

Moje ime je Aleksandra Ristič in prihajam iz Ljubljane (Slovenija). Sem doktorska študentka drugega letnika Specialne in rehabilitacijske pedagogike. Sem zelo aktivna prostovoljka na različnih področjih, socialno ogroženih družinah, družinah z otroki s posebnimi potrebami, od septembra 2013 dalje pa tudi v vrtcu pod vodstvom Ministrstva izvajam individualni program za otroke z govorno jezikovnimi motnjami. Veselila bi me udeležba na konferenci v Bragi.

My name is Aleksandra Ristic and I come from Ljubljana (Slovenia). I am a PhD student in the second year of Special and Rehabilitation Pedagogy. I am a very active volunteer in various areas, socially disadvantaged families, families with children with special needs, since September 2013 as well as in the nursery under the leadership of the Ministry of an individual program for children with speech and language disorders. I would be happy to attend a conference in Braga.