Top speakers at 'All Children in the Circle' conference

Top speakers at 'All Children in the Circle' conference

Leading experts on inclusion in education are to speak at a major two-day conference, ‘All Children in the Circle’, at the Radisson Hotel in Letterkenny next week.

The conference is being held on Friday (20th) and Saturday by the Donegal Down Syndrome Association and the Donegal Education and Training Board.

The speakers include Professor Sue Buckley, a world authority in the area of education and development for young people with Down Syndrome.

Also on the programme are Teresa Griffin, chief executive of the National Council for Special Education, and Ann Heelan, who’s executive director of the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability.

Gina Grant of the Donegal Down Syndrome Association said the conference, like the association, will be about encouraging people to see the person and not the disability.

“This is a wonderful chance to look at what is best practice not just in Ireland but around the world, and see how we can do the best for all our young people,” she said. “It’s about making sure that all children are ‘in the circle’ in education, and not left out in any way.”

Those attending the conference on Friday will include educators, teachers, Special Needs Assistants, guidance staff and Special Educational Needs staff. Saturday’s conference is geared particularly towards parents and carers.

Registration for the conference closes at 5pm next Wednesday (18th). If you’re interested in going, check out the registration form on the Facebook page of the Donegal Down Syndrome Association. Or go to and search for ‘inclusion conference’.

Martin Gormley of Donegal ETB said there’s a lot of interest so far.

“This is an important conference for anyone involved in the education of our children, as well as their families and carers,” he said. “There’s a lot of research and other work going on in this field, and this is an opportunity to hear all about it.”

Our photographs show:

Having fun in the kitchen are a busy group of chefs, including, from front left, Niamh Sheridan, Shaun McCosker and Claire Doherty.

Professor Sue Buckley, OBE, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Disability.