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Beneficiary Partners

Scientific Coordinator

Professor Eilionóir Flynn (NUIG)

Eilionóir is an Established Professor at the School of Law and Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), NUI Galway. She is a graduate of UCC (BCL, PhD) and has previously worked at the CDLP as a postdoctoral researcher, senior research fellow and senior lecturer. Eilionóir has published two monographs on national disability strategies and access to justice with Cambridge University Press and Routledge, and has edited a number of edited collections for Intersentia and Routledge. Her work on disability rights is widely published in international peer reviewed journals and her current research interests include legal capacity, access to justice, deprivation of liberty and the intersectionality of disability, gender and ageing. She is passionate about educating a new generation of disability activists and scholars, and has secured funding from the Irish Research Council to develop a network of early career researchers on disability rights on the island of Ireland. 

Eilionóir currently holds an Investigator Award from Wellcome Trust for a research project on reproductive justice for disabled people in Ireland. From 2015-2018, Eilionóir held a European Research Council Starting Grant for the VOICES project, which documented the narratives of people with lived experience of legal capacity denial. She regularly collaborates with civil society organisations and disabled people’s organisations at national and international levels.In Ireland, she has co-ordinated the Civil Society Legal Capacity Coalition to influence the drafting of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act and internationally she has supported the Secretariat of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly the working group which developed General Comment 1. 

Principal Investigators

Professor Jerome Bickenbach (SPF)

Disability Policy Unit Head, Swiss Paraplegic Research

Steering Committee member, ICF Research Branch of WHO Collaborating Centre for the Family of International Classifications in German

Department of Health Sciences & Health Policy at the University of Lucerne; Coordinator, WHO Collaboration Centre for Rehabilitation in Global Health Systems

Dr. Jerome Bickenbach is Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University, Canada and Visiting Professor at the University of Lucerne. He is the author of Physical Disability and Social Policy (1993) and the co-editor of Introduction to Disability (1998), Disability and Culture: Universalism and Diversity (2000), A Seat at the Table: Persons with Disabilities and Policy Making (2001), Quality of Life and Human Difference (2003) and numerous articles and chapters in disability studies, focusing on the nature of disability and disability law and policy. He was a content editor of Sage Publications’ five 5 volume Encyclopaedia of Disability. His most recent book is Ethics, Law and Policy in the Sage Disability Resource Library. From Disability to Practice (2018) is a collection of essays on his work. Since 1995 he has been a consultant with the World Health Organization (WHO) working on drafting, testing and implementation of the ICF, and continues to consult with WHO on international disability social policy. His research is in disability studies, using qualitative and quantitative research techniques within the paradigm of participatory action research. Most recently his research includes disability quality of life and the disability critique, disability epidemiology, universal design and inclusion, modelling disability statistics for population health surveys, the relationship between disability and wellbeing, disability and ageing issues and the application of ICF to monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a lawyer, Prof. Bickenbach was a human rights litigator, specializing in anti-discrimination for persons with intellectual impairments and mental illness. Since 2007, he has headed the Disability Policy Unit at Swiss Paraplegic Research in Nottwil, Switzerland and is Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Lucerne and director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Rehabilitation in Global Health Systems.

Professor Paula Campos Pinto (ISCSP)

Paula Campos Pinto holds a PhD in Sociology from York University, Toronto, Canada and a MSc in Family Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. She is an Associate Professor at the School for Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lisbon (ISCSP-UL), a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center on Gender Research (CIEG) the Center of Administration and Public Policies (CAPP) and the founder and coordinator of the Observatory on Disability and Human Rights (http://oddh.iscsp.ulisboa.pt/index.php/en/), a platform that brings together academics, disability organizations and decision-makers to support disability research in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries. She is currently coordinating University of Lisbon’s participation in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training network DARE (Disability Advocacy Research in Europe (2019-2022)).

Her research interests focus on disability rights monitoring in the Global North and South, social policy analyses and the impact of policy on disabled people’s lives, including from a gender perspective. Paula Campos Pinto was a member of the board of ANED, the European network of disability experts and a research associate with Disability Rights Promotion International, a worldwide initiative to monitor disability rights. She is the author of many publications in national and international peer-reviewed journals and books related to disability, gender, development and human rights.

Ms Catherine Naughton (EDF)

Catherine Naughton is the Director of the European Disability Forum (EDF), a unique platform which brings together representative organisation of persons with disabilities from across Europe. She is also the Vice President of the Social Platform. Social Platform is the largest network of European rights- and value-based civil society organisations working in the social sector.

Catherine has an academic background in public health, and 20 years of experience in the field of disability- with a particular focus on inclusive development: the rights of persons with disabilities in low and middle income countries.

She has worked in many countries, and at the EU and International level in promoting the inclusion of person with disabilities in mainstream development and humanitarian programmes.

Professor Mark Priestley (UNIVLEEDS)

Mark Priestley is Professor of Disability Policy in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. He established and led the European Commission’s Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED), directing its research programme across 35 countries from 2008-2019. He is currently engaged in analysing and writing about this work for publication, examining the evolution of disability policies and equality outcomes in Europe. His research interests include international and comparative perspectives on public policy, issues of the policy process, monitoring and governance, realizing rights and the disabled role of disabled people’s movements.

Professor Rannveig Trautadottir (UoI)

Rannveig Traustadóttir is Professor and Director of the Centre for Disability Studies, University of Iceland. Much of her research has examined the intersection of disability, gender and other categories of inequality. Her current research focuses on violence against disabled women, independent living, personal assistance and how the UN CRPD can be implemented to promote full human rights and equality for disabled people. Rannveig is one of the leaders in developing Disability Studies as an academic discipline in the Nordic countries. In addition to her academic work, Rannveig has been an active advocate for human rights, in particular disability human rights. One of her interests is how activism and academia can work together in bringing about social change.

Professor Lisa Waddington (UM)

Lisa Waddington holds the European Disability Forum Chair in European Disability Law. Professor Waddington’s principal areas of interest lie in European and comparative disability law, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and European and comparative equality law in general. In 2000, she received an ASPASIA award from the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). Between 2004 and 2007 she coordinated a large EU research and education project on European non-discrimination law. She also coordinated the involvement of Maastricht University in the FP7 EuRADE project (European Research Agendas expanding Disability Equality) and the Marie Curie Initial Training Network DREAM (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets, 2011-2015). She is currently coordinating Maastricht University’s participation in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training network DARE (Disability Advocacy Research in Europe (2019-2022)). Lisa Waddington is a member of the Maastricht Centre for European Law, the Ius Commune Research School and the Human Rights Research School. Between 1993 and 2004 she was the editor of the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law. She is currently a board member of a number of Networks and organisations, including the European Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-discrimination and the Academic Network of European Disability experts. Professor Waddington has been a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, the University of Melbourne and Leeds University.

Mr Luk Zelderloo (EASPD)

Luk has been professionally active in the disability sector for over 35 years. He is one of the founding fathers and the Secretary General of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), an umbrella network representing about 17,000 service provider organisations for persons with disabilities. He is a board member of Social Services Europe, a platform of umbrellas of not for profit social services, and the Chairman of EMINO, a Flemish non-profit organisation offering supported employment and job coaching for people with disabilities and vulnerable groups on the open labour.

Luk has extensive knowledge of public policy developments, managing EU funded projects, quality of social services and of deinstitutionalisation and community-based care. He has acted as a speaker and organiser of conferences on topics such as: education and employment of persons with disabilities, staff training, state aid, poverty reduction, combating sexual abuse, social policies, capacity-building and stakeholder cooperation.