College of Education

Unisa inclusive education scholar shares expertise in India

Prof Mary Clasquin-Johnson from the Department of Inclusive Education represented Unisa at a two-day International Conference on "Sustainability, Global Diversity, Inclusion and Culture; Interdisciplinary Perspectives" on 18 and 19 January 2024 in Kolkata, India.

The conference was organised and convened by Prof Santoshi Halder from the Department of Education, University of Calcutta. Halder ensured that every aspect of the conference reflected sustainability and inclusion. The conference was funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) in collaboration with the National Library of India, the Ministry of Culture and the Government of India. The objective was to collectively map a sustainable, inclusive global society and community for all.


Prof Mary Clasquin-Johnson (back row, far left) with the other international speakers at the conference

Clasquin-Johnson’s paper, "Training South African teachers to include learners with autism", was co-authored with her colleague, Prof Ensa Johnson, and in her presentation she shared the findings of their autism research project. The paper has been accepted for publication by Springer later this year in a scholarly book on Global Diversity and Inclusion, edited by Halder. 

The conference provided a platform for the marginalised and socio-economically disadvantaged to share their strengths and challenges to the larger audience through the session "My own Voice; first-person accounts". In addition, Nritya Natika, a renowned Indian classical dancer presented the conference theme with a performance by special needs children.

Acclaimed Fulbright Scholar, Priyadarshani Shome’s "Dance with Me, We, Us" was specially choreographed and performed during the conference to represent diversity, culture, gender and inclusion, which she performed with postgraduate performance arts students.

Over the two days, 143 papers, a panel discussion, three virtual presentations and a hands-on workshop on inclusive practices on areas such as universal design, accessibility and alternative technologies, inclusive practices and strategies, were delivered by specialists across various disciplines. 

* Submitted by the Department of Inclusive Education, College of Education

Publish date: 2024/02/22

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