Meet our Keynote Speakers

A woman of enormous heart and vision, Caroline Casey is an award-winning social entrepreneur and the founder of The Valuable 500, where she has the ear of some of the world's leading CEOs. 

As a former management consultant and daughter of a successful entrepreneur, Caroline recognises the power of business to make change happen.  Operating at the frontier of Diversity and Inclusion, with The Valuable500 she is committed to building a global movement of inclusive business for the 1.3 billion people in the world with a disability.  With her as the principal driver, the organisation has secured commitment from 500 global CEOs - presenting over 20 million employees - to put disability inclusion on their leadership agendas, among them world-leading companies such as Google, Virgin Media and Unilever. In the process, together they have built a 'system-change community' that is determined to solve the 'disability inequality' crisis. This crisis sees many with disabilities under-served, under-resourced and under-rated in the workplace, and under-valued in the marketplace. 

Caroline Casey

Founder of The Valuable 500, Global Advocate for Inclusion and Motivational Speaker

“Mind The Gap” - Everyone deserves the right to aspire to the very best future – yet nationally only 5.1% of people with a learning disability known to Adult Services in the UK go on to secure competitive paid employment.

DFN Project SEARCH is a highly ambitious Transition to Employment programme for learners with special educational needs and disabilities. Partnering with hundreds of national and international companies, education providers and local government bodies across the UK, DFN Project SEARCH delivers a fully immersive Supported Internship programme with the primary focus of supporting this cohort into full-time, integrated, competitive paid employment. 70% of interns secure paid employment each year, 60% achieve full-time paid employment, over 10 times the national average.

With the largest data set of this kind in the world, we can evidence how neurodiversity can be a huge advantage to businesses and the wider economy, and how given the right support, people with an array of skill sets can become fully contributing members of society. Through this presentation we will take a deep dive into the gender, race, age, and primary diagnosis of these interns and compare this against their outcomes in terms of salary, employment contracts and sectors they start their careers in.

Chief Executive Officer of the DFN Foundation and DFN Project SEARCH, Claire is an experienced senior leader with an extensive background in education and best practice supported employment. Formally a headteacher of a broad-spectrum special school, Claire now leads a fast-growing charity that seeks to support best practice transition to employment for people with learning disabilities and autism.

Claire Cookson

Chief Executive Officer, DFN Foundation/DFN Project SEARCH, United Kingdom

What about tomorrow?
Personal Future Planning – creating an enabling space and pathway for a personal career

The methods and the philosophy of supported employment and person-centred planning are for me like twins. They share the same DNA of basic attitudes and the goal of inclusion, belong together, live their own lives and have fun when they meet each other.

Personal Future Planning is used in Germany as the general term of the wide range of person-centred planning approaches, which we use to create an enabling space with a person to think about his or her values, motivation, interests, skills, strengths, and knowledge, to explore dreams and clarify personal goals. We see this as a part of a positive diagnosis as the positive psychology calls it. We explore what makes him or her stronger, how he or she communicates and what environment and support fits best. A circle of support is a good element in the transition to a new position. The question to explore is what fits to the person because all people have different combinations of their personal needs, competencies, and values. Person-, community- and relationship-orientation are three sides of one coin and a strategy for helpful services for vocational integration and social inclusion.

In the past 30 years, we discovered a wide range of material that is very helpful in the career planning for all. The research in the field of positive psychology in the recent years undermines the importance of a strengths and value-based approach. In this keynote speech I want to look ahead and share my learning on this journey and give examples of what I find helpful.

He studied social work, social science, vocational education, special education and rehabilitation in Hamburg, Bremen and Eugen, Oregon, USA. In the early 1990s he developed a supported employment project in Hamburg. In 1995 he did his Masters in special education and Rehabilitation with a focus on supported employment. He was the first executive director of the German Association of Supported Employment (BAG ÙB) (1995-2001), was board member of the EUSE and took part in several European Projects on Supported Employment. His dissertation was about the long-term effects of supported employment (2006). Within the two European projects New Path to Inclusions (2009-2011) and New Path to InclUsion Network (2013) an inclusive training in person centred planning was developed. He was one of the founders and the first president of the German speaking network of person centred planning (Netzwerk Persönliche Zukunftsplanung) (2011-2019).

Prof. Dr. Stefan Doose

Professor for Integration and Inclusion, Potsdam University of Applied Science, Faculty Social and Education Sciences, Germany

Lessons learned from Supported Employment/ IPS in Norway - current situation and future challenges and opportunities

Health- and welfare services are instructed to closely cooperate in implementing evidence-based practices such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) in the current National Healthcare plan (2020 - 2023). Clinicians in mental health services are further specifically encouraged to acknowledge work as both an important therapy goal and a therapeutic intervention and Supported Employment/IPS programs receive considerable government funding. Although evidence for the effectiveness of SE/IPS continues to grow and there is broad political commitment to finance access to services, challenges still remain. System-level cooperation between services and stakeholders, the integration of employment specialists in mental health services, rigid fidelity assessments and a broad range of clinical groups constitute potential barriers to the successful implementation of SE/IPS. This keynote presentation will address SE/IPS for people with severe mental illness as well as for new clinical groups, summarizing the major developments in Norway since the first introduction of IPS. Challenges and opportunities will be discussed.

June Lystad is a senior scientist at the Treatment Research Unit and Section for Early Psychosis Treatment at Oslo University Hospital. Her research focus mainly involves different psychosocial interventions for severe mental disorders. The research areas include vocational rehabilitation, neurocognition in schizophrenia, cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive behavioral therapy in psychosis. She is the principal investigator in "IPS +", an ongoing research project combining the IPS model with cognitive remediation and cognitive behavioral therapy for individuals with early psychosis and a research collaborator in different ongoing vocational rehabilitation trials.

June Lystad, Psychologist/PhD, Oslo University Hospital   

June Lystad

Psychologist/PhD, Oslo University Hospital

Supported Employment for Neuropsychiatric Conditions

This keynote address will describe supported employment for individuals with neuropsychiatric illnesses, including traumatic brain injury, serious mental illnesses, and other conditions. Results from randomized controlled trials will be reviewed, and key components of the intervention will be described. Clinical aspects of intervention delivery (e.g., identifying candidates, linking activities with rehabilitation goals) will be discussed. New directions in supported employment implementation (e.g., use of cognitive training and motivational interviewing strategies) will also be discussed.

Much of Dr. Twamleys work is based at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, where she is a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Research Career Scientist and the Director of the Clinical Research Unit of the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health. Dr. Twamley’s research has focused on supported employment, cognitive training, and other interventions to improve real-world functioning for individuals with severe mental illnesses, traumatic brain injuries, and other cognitive impairments. She has developed and evaluated Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT) and Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy (CogSMART) with funding from NIH, VA, DoD, NSF, BBRF/NARSAD, and UC San Diego grants. These treatment manuals and other clinical materials are available at no charge on her website, www.cogsmart.com. Current studies and published research articles are available at smartlab.ucsd.edu.

Dr. Elizabeth Twamley

Neuropsychologist/Professor of Psychiatry University College San Diego, USA

From “Train-Place” to “Place-Train” – The paradigm shift in Norwegian Labour Market Measures

Since the year of 2012, the Norwegian Public Employment Service has experienced a paradigm shift with increased use of place / train approach within the labour market measures.

In his keynote address, Mr Åsholt will emphasise why this shift was necessary and how the organisation has worked with policy making to accomplish this new paradigm. 

Further he will explain in what ways the PES has succeeded, and what could be the challenges in successfully implementing SE/IPS in the public administration. 

Norway has gained increased knowledge by cooperating with other countries and organisations in this field in the last ten years.

Mr. Yngvar Åsholt

Director of the research and knowledge department, the Norwegian directorate of Labour and Welfare

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