Past conferences

Find out about and watch recordings from past conferences where LEANS have presented.

Find out where you can hear talks and meet our team in our upcoming conferences on our conferences in 2023 page.

LEANS 2023 conferences


British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference  

September 12-14, in-person, Aston University, Birmingham

Dr Alyssa Alcorn presented about the LEANS Champions training programme we developed as part of our ESRC Impact award grant (2022), and our results so far regarding training course evaluation and the Champions’ impact activities in the community. Find out more about the LEANS Champions programme of educator-experts.

View a recorded version of this talk (November 2023) on the BERA website (30 min)

Visit the conference website

European Conference on Educational Research (ECER)

August 22-25, in-person, University of Glasgow

LEANS Research and Impact Lead Dr Alyssa Alcorn presented on the LEANS programme, evaluation study, and release, and impact activity post-release. It reflected on how can LEANS be a model and proof-of-concept for others developing neurodiversity content.

One way LEANS could be used elsewhere in Europe (or the world) is through translation.

Check out our translation information page

Visit the conference website

UCD Neurodiversity Masterclass seminar: “The Learning About Neurodiversity at School (LEANS) programme: From participatory design to going public”

June 22 17:00-18:00 BST, live online event (free)

LEANS Research and Impact Lead Dr Alyssa Alcorn presented as part of the UCD College of Health and Agricultural Science’s Neurodiversity Masterclass seminar series. This talk gave an overview of the resources but also reflected on the LEANS process as a whole, and lessons learned along the way, especially for other groups or projects bringing together research and practice around neurodiversity.

Video: recorded online talk via YouTube (1 hour)

The CALM study seminar: outcomes and practical implications

June 17th (Saturday) 10:00 - 14:00 BST, in person, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge

This free seminar was part of the CALM (Centre for Attention, Learning and Memory) study, dedicated to comprehending how children attend, listen, and remember and how these skills impact learning from childhood onward.  The event discussed key study findings on topics including the role of cognition, behaviour, brain development, and genetics in learning. It also discussed practice and policy implications for more inclusive schools.

Dr Alyssa Alcorn from LEANS spoke briefly about the project as part of the bigger-picture discussion of neurodivergence, development, and schools. Note: These are the slides for the entire event, with LEANS content from slide 53. There is no event recording.

Slides: CALM study seminar (LEANS content from slide 53)

“Neurodiversity – Shifting Paradigms in Mental Health” virtual conference and education panel discussion

Conference: May 25-26, online

This virtual conference was organised by ADHD Ireland, Autistic Doctors International, Institute of Neurodiversity, NUI Maynooth, UCD, and Untapped Talent.

Claire O’Neill, a LEANS Champion in Ireland, presented about the LEANS programme in the Irish context.

Video: presentation via YouTube (42 min)

Research team member Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson spoke on “Principles and Practices in Neurodiversity-Informed education”.

Note: This talk does not focus on LEANS, but on wider issues in this area. There is a small section on LEANS near the end, and how it illustrates larger principles.

Video: presentation via YouTube (47 min)

Online panel discussion: May 25

Claire and Sue also joined a tie-in panel discussion on education, as part of the UCD College of Health and Agricultural Science’s Neurodiversity Masterclass seminar series

Video: panel discussion via YouTube (22 min)

Middletown Centre for Autism fifth International Conference

May 19-20, ICC Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Middletown Centre for Autism works across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, promoting best practice in the education of autistic children and young people. This conference brought together a range of speakers on neurodiversity and on autism, with a big focus on practitioners and the community. LEANS team member Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson delivered a double bill of talks at the event, on “Neurodiversity Affirmative Practice in Education & Healthcare” and “Supporting Neurodivergent Children and their Families.” Dr Alyssa Alcorn delivered a workshop about the LEANS programme, and joined a panel discussion on “Innovations in Education”.  

We will update this info if recordings become publicly available.

International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) Annual Meeting

May 3-6, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr Alyssa Alcorn delivered an oral presentation about LEANS as part of the Family Issues & Stakeholder Experiences theme, called “A mixed-methods evaluation of Learning About Neurodiversity at School (LEANS) programme: Teaching neurodiversity concepts in mainstream primary schools.” This was an important milestone for the project--and an important shift for INSAR to be featuring more content using the neurodiversity paradigm!

This talk was not recorded. 

A lecture theatre full of people watching Dr Alyssa Alcorn give a talk. A video of Alyssa is projected on a big screen in the middle and two other big screens show her slides.
At INSAR in Stockholm, Dr Alyssa Alcorn had the opportunity to present the LEANS evaluation study on the big stage!

It takes all kinds of minds (ITAKOM) Neurodiversity Conference

March 13-14, hybrid event, Edinburgh UK (£)

ITAKOM was a new international conference focused on neurodiversity research, professional practice, and lived experience, and should have something for everyone. Naturally, it included education!

Dr Alyssa Alcorn presented on “Learning and Teaching About Neurodiversity at School – Sustainably Over Time”. Aside from talking about LEANS in general, this talk reflected on our impact work and the challenges of adopting a new intervention into practice, and of encouraging people to continue using it. The question is not only how we get neurodiversity into school curricula, but how we keep it there over time!

View a recording of this talk on Youtube: 

At ITAKOM, LEANS team members Dr Alyssa Alcorn and Professor Sue Fletcher Watson spoke about education with MSP Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work
At ITAKOM, LEANS team members Dr Alyssa Alcorn and Professor Sue Fletcher Watson spoke about education with MSP Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work.

National Autistic Society Annual Professionals' Conference 2023

March 2, live online event (£)

“Learning about neurodiversity at school —and beyond”

Dr Alyssa Alcorn presented about the LEANS project, why neurodiversity teaching can be a promising strategy to facilitate positive changes at school, and why it adds value to autism-specific training and awareness activities. This talk included the very latest from the LEANS Community (LEANS-C) impact project, which focuses on parents and carers, and on local “educator experts” supporting colleagues into neurodiversity teaching.

National Autistic Society Annual Professionals' Conference event details 


Annual Learnus Lecture

Dr Sarah McGeown standing beside a projector screen giving a presentation

November 16th, online, free

Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson gave this year's Annual Learnus Lecture on “Neurodiversity: acceptance and affirmation in the classroom”. Learnus is an organisation focused on educational neuroscience, working to bring together practitioners, researchers, and others toward the bigger goal of improving education.

This event was hosted on Zoom.

Watch the recording of Professor Fetcher-Watson's lecture (50 min)

Autism Europe Congress

October 6-9, hybrid event, Cracow, Poland (£)

LEANS attended Autism Europe in person, with poster presentations about our evaluation study (Dr Alyssa Alcorn) and our online consultation study used to inform development of LEANS materials (Reesha Zahir).

View presentations of the LEANS e-posters and other research from SMRC (YouTube playlist containing four 3-minute videos)

Autism Europe Conference website

BPS Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference

September 14-15, in-person, Wolfson College Oxford (£) 

On Wednesday the 14th, Dr Sarah McGeown gave the opening keynote lecture entitled “Better together: Co-designing educational interventions with children, young people, teachers and other professionals.” Among her other work, it included content on the LEANS project. 

Sarah also gave a dedicated talk on the LEANS evaluation study and its results later on Wednesday (parallel session 1-B, development and inclusion).

Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference 2022 - about page

Alyssa Alcorn standing in front of a large screen, speaking to an audience, not shown in the photo

British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference  

September 6-8, in-person, University of Liverpool (£) 

Dr Alyssa Alcorn presented about the LEANS project and evaluation, as part of conference session 3.10 on Tuesday Sept 6th. This paper was jointly awarded ‘BERA Annual Conference 2022 –Best Paper’ in the Inclusive Education Special Interest Group (SIG).

BERA Conference 2022 - programme page

Autistica Research Festival 

July 11-15, Online, free 

A short talk with Dr Alyssa Alcorn presenting about the LEANS evaluation study on Friday, July 15th (in education session 14:30-15:30). This talk and this conference were intended for a mixed audience of community members, researchers, and professionals.  

Video - talk via YouTube (13 min - part of a longer video)

NDAS 2022: Neurodevelopmental disorders annual seminar 

June 23rd, in-person, University of Edinburgh (£) 

Dr Sarah McGeown presents about the LEANS evaluation study (session 2b). Registration closes on 31st May 2022.

Neuro Developmental Disorders Annual Seminar - about page