Michael L. Wehmeyer

University of Kansas

Michael L. Wehmeyer Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D. is the Ross and Mariana Beach Distinguished Professor of Special Education; Chair of the Department of Special Education; and Director and Senior Scientist, Beach Center on Disability; all at the University of Kansas. His research and scholarly work has focused issues pertaining to self-determination, positive psychology and disability, transition to adulthood, the education and inclusion of students with severe disabilities, conceptualizing intellectual disability, and technology use by people with cognitive disabilities. He has published more than 450 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He is an author or editor on 42 texts. Dr. Wehmeyer is Past-President and a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD); a Fellow of the American Psychological Association Division 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Division). He has been recognized for his research and service with lifetime achievement awards from numerous associations and organizations, including the American Psychological Association, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children, and The Arc of the United States.

Donna Purcell

Commonwealth Bank Australia

Donna Purcell Donna works at Commonwealth Bank In the Customer and Community Advocacy Team as Senior Manager Accessibility and Capability Advice. Donna is a certified Access Consultant and as a person who is blind and a guide dog user, has lived experience of disability.
She is a Director for two NFP Boards: Northcott Society and Australian Network on Disability.

Maree Ireland

Scope Australia

Maree Ireland Maree Ireland completed a double degree in law / arts at the University of Melbourne in 1994, after which time she worked in disability advocacy. From 2009 to 2019 Maree worked at Field, a Registered Training Organisation as a Community Engagement Officer. In this role she contributed to training disability support workers, maintained Field’s learner guides and resources, and wrote Field’s student newsletter and blog around various disability issues.

More recently, Maree has commenced work with Scope Australia’s Communication Information and Resource Centre team as a Communication Assessor to assist Victorian businesses and services to understand how to use various communication methods to effectively communicate with people with disabilities.

Marjorie Aunos


Marjorie Aunos Marjorie Aunos, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned researcher, adjunct professor at two Canadian Universities and clinical psychologist. She was a Director of Professional Services within a health and social service agency in Montreal, Canada and founded an evidence-based program for parents with an intellectual disability that is nationally recognized and deemed as best and promising practice by accreditation Canada. Dr. Aunos is also the chair of the Parenting Special Interest Group of the International Association on the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability. She has led a number of book chapters and national and international conferences. She was a co-editor on the double special issue on Parenting by persons with intellectual disabilities of the Journal of Applied research in Intellectual Disability in 2017 and has published in many and various peer-reviewed journals.

Margaret Spencer

Margaret Spencer Dr. Margaret Spencer is a lecturer in the Social Work Program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. She has a multifaceted background and holds qualifications in nursing, theology and social work. Margaret’s doctorate and ongoing research focus is on the intersectionality of women, disability, and reproductive justice. She is currently the secretary on the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ Special Interest Research Group (Parenting with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities). Margaret has over 35 years casework experience working with marginalised individuals and families. Prior to taking up her current academic position in 2014, Margaret created and coordinated a specialist advocacy program for parents with intellectual disability involved in child custody matters in the New South Wales Children Court. In 2009, she was appointed a judicial officer in the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Adult Guardianship Division) and remains a serving member.

Laura Pacheco

Laura Pacheco Dr. Laura Pacheco is a clinician-researcher and coordinates a specialized evidence-based parenting service for persons with intellectual disability in Montreal. She is a consultant for workers in the government, community and legal system. Laura is involved in a number of research projects including her post-doctoral work in the SSHRC research project exploring the support needs and service gaps of parents with intellectual impairment in Canada. Her research interests include intersecting levels of oppression on the lines of ability/disability, gender, culture, service provision to families headed by parents with intellectual disability, participatory approaches and reproductive justice. Laura is a member of IASIDD- Special Interest Group in Parenting and has conducted international trainings, workshops and conferences within this field.