Professor Jill Porter is Convenor of the research cluster “Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education” at the Institute of Education, University of Reading, UK.
Jill taught in early years and special school settings prior to working in Higher Education. A core theme that runs through her research is the relationship between the way we conceptualise disability, the practices for identifying disabled people and the organisational responses that result. She was principal investigator on a series of national projects funded by the UK government to develop key identifiers of disability and a tool kit that schools could use to understand the barriers to learning encountered by their disabled children. More recently she has been funded to work with creative partners and software designers to develop and evaluate an ipad game for children with Down syndrome that supports the development of mathematics. This study has led her to revisit her earlier research on developing and using research tools for children with additional needs that was the focus of her book with Penny Lacey in 2005 on “Researching Learning Difficulties.” She has written extensively in the field of disability with particular interest and expertise in teaching pupils with severe complex and profound learning difficulties. Her latest book is entitled “Understanding and Responding to the Experience of Disability”.