Invited Speakers


Professor Yoram Barak, Israel

“Aging of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities – Emphasis on Dementia”.

Professor Barak is the head of the Geriatric-Psychiatric Department of Abarbanel Hospital, which is afiflia.

Professor Eric Emerson, UK

"Adversity and the well-being of people with intellectual disabilities”.

Professor of Disability and Health Research at Lancaster University, and Co-Di-rector of the national specialist public health observatory for learning disabilities. Professor Emerson has been Professor of Disability and Health Research at the Institute for Health Research since February 2000 and Visiting Professor at the Australian Family and Dis-ability Studies Research Collaboration at the University of Sydney. He is responsible for liaison between the International Association for the Scientiifc Study of Intellectual Disability (IASSID) and the World Health Organization. Professor Emerson is an active disability researcher. He previously held appointments at the University of Manchester, University of Sydney, University of Kent at Canterbury and in a range of health care organizations in the UK and Canada.

Professor Varda Gross-Tsur, Israel.

"Emotional Deprivation and it's Impact on Brain Developmaen"

Professor Varda Gross-Tsur is a pediatric neurologist who heads the Child Development Unit at Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital. She works as the pediatrician for the Elvin Rehabilitation Kindergarten in Jerusalem. She also runs two interdisciplinary clinics for Prader– Willi Syndrome and Tourette Syndrome.
Professor Gross-Tsur focuses mainly on the various aspects of disturbances including their cognitive, motor, and other neurological components. Using advanced imaging methods, and the evaluation of neurological development, she conducts longitudinal research in the area of abnormal brain development among premature infants. She also researches the connection between genotype and phenotype in genetic syndromes, as well as the influence of hormones on functional communication in autism.

Professor Kelley Johnson, UK

“From research about us to research with us”

Professor of Disability Policy and Practice at the Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol. Prior to her appointment at the University of Bristol, she was a Marie Curie Fellow at the National Institute for Intellectual Disability at Trinity College in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. She was responsible for a national project which focused on the inclusion of people with learning disabilities in research about issues important to them in their lives. Her main research interests are: Rights and Disability, Deinstitutionalization, Inclusion
of people with learning disabilities in the community, Sexuality and relationships, Social
change, Bullying and people with learning disabilities, Inclusive research and Life history

Professor Arlene S. Kanter, USA
“The Right to Live in the Community as a Human Right for All"

Professor Kanter is the distinguished Meredith Professor of Law at Syracuse
University College of Law, one of the world’s leading universities in the field of
Disability Studies. At SU, she directs the Disability Law and Policy Program and co-directs the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Tel Aviv University in 2009-10, and in 2010-11, she is a visiting professor at the Law Faculties of Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University. She was recently named the 2010-11 Distinguished Switzer Fellow by the US Department of Education which supports her comparative research on inclusion of students with disabilities in Israel and the US in higher education. Professor Kanter participated in drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and has worked with governments and NGOs in Egypt, Ghana, India, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, the PA, Turkey, Vietnam as well as the US to promote the human rights of children and adults with disabilities.

professor chris oliver, UK

“Challenging behavior: Before you judge me, take a walk in my shoes”

Professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Birmingham, previously Director of the ClinPsyD training course. He trained as a clinical psychologist at Edinburgh University before completing a PhD on self-injurious behavior in people with intellectual disability at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He is currently researching genebehavior associations, cognitive, behavioral and emotional problems experienced by children and adults with severe intellectual disability, and behavior disorders in people with neuro disorders. Associate Editor for the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, and he is also on the Editorial Board of Autism, the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities and the Journal on Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities. He is on the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation, the UK Clinical Advisory Committee for the Smith- Magenis Foundation and is Chair of the UK Cornelia de Lange Scientific and Professional Advisory Committee.

 Professor Michael Ashley Stein, USA

“Something about us without us? Global trends in Legal Capacity under the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”

Cabell Research Professor of Law, College of William & Mary School of Law and Executive Director, Harvard Project on Disability. The Harvard Law School Project on Disability (HPOD) works to promote the human rights of people with disabilities worldwide. HPOD supports the development of disability civil society, informs innovative legislative and policy development, provides legal advice and human rights training to persons with disabilities, their representative organizations, non-governmental organizations, National Human Rights Institutions, and governments.

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