Keynote speakers

Juan Bornman, PhD.

Professor Bornman is the Director of the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria. South Africa.

Professor Bornman is interested in the field of implementation science and have studied various different types of communication-related interventions in children with disability in low and middle income countries. Most recently my research has focused specifically on describing the human rights of children with intellectual disabilities.

Richard Ellenson

CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, New York, USA.

Richard Ellenson is the father of Thomas who was born in 1997 and later developed cerebral palsy. Richard has been intensively engaged in creating awareness about people with disabilities and to share stories about their vibrant lives. He is also the founder and CEO of two assistive technology companies.

Naila Khan, MD.

Professor and Head of Department of Pediatric Neuroscience, Bangladesh Institute of Child Health, Dhaka Shishu (Children’s) Hospital. National Co-ordinator, Establishment of Child Development Centers in Secondary and Tertiary Hospitals, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh.

Professor Kahn’s interest is in replication of multidisciplinary Child Development Centers in outreach hospitals across Bangladesh, in application of outcome tools developed within Bangladesh or other low and middle income countries and in dissemination of child development and neuro disability related technology into primary health care services.


Gillian King, PhD.

Senior Scientist, Bloorview Research Institute. Canada Research Chair in Optimal Care for Children with Disabilities. Associate Professor, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto. Canada.

Professor King’s primary interest is in psychosocial aspects of pediatric services and child, youth, and parent well-being. Her research interests include the participation of children with disabilities, youth transitions, parent wellness and resilience, client engagement, and the delivery of health services.


Torkel Klingberg, MD, PhD.

Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience, Dept. Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Professor Torkel Klingberg’s research is focused on the development and plasticity of working memory and attention, in persons with cognitive disabilities.



Michael Kruer, MD, PhD.

Associate Scientist in the Sanford Children’s Specialty Clinic and Sanford Children’s Health Research Center Sioux Falls, University of South Dakota, USA.

Dr. Kruer’s research is focused on the molecular basis of movement disorders. He is principal investigator of the Cerebral Palsy Genetic Research Network, a worldwide effort to characterize the genetic basis of spastic cerebral palsy.



Jean-Pierre Lin, MD.

Complex Motor Disorders, Children’s Neurosciences, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Jean-Pierre Lin is interested in children’s movement disorders, particularly functional difficulties and is exploring the neuroscientific  basis of neuromodulation in children with primary, secondary static, neurometabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. Timing of intervention and proportion of life lived with dystonia is of particular current interest with reference to cerebral palsy.


John H. Martin, PhD.

Professor at Department of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience. Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. Director, Neural Development and Repair Cluster, Center for Discovery and Innovation. The City College of the City University of New York. Adjunct Professor of Clinical Neuroscience. Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, USA.

Dr. Martin’s research focuses on development of the neural circuits of the brain and spinal cord investigating the mechanisms of injury underlying hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Overall, his laboratory’s research program is devoted to finding ways to improve function in people with mobility impairments, through advancing novel activity-based treatments.


Unni G. Narayanan, MBBS, MSc, FRCS(C).

Associate Professor of Surgery, Divisions of Orthopaedic Surgery & Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto. Senior Scientist, Bloorview Research Institute, Canada

Doctor Unni Narayanan is a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon whose clinical practice is focused primarily on the care of children with cerebral palsy, lower limb deformity and trauma. His research has focused on the development and validation of meaningful patient reported outcome measures and the use of these measures in multi-center trials and cohort studies to evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions.


Iona Novak, OT, PhD.

Professor Iona Novak is the Head of Research at Cerebral Palsy Alliance,
University of Sydney. Australia. Novak is a Fulbright Scholar establishing “Xcellerate” - an American-Australian Cerebral Palsy Stem Cell Research Consortium that pools collective efforts to find effective neuroplasticity interventions.

Professor Novak has an internal belief that research and healthcare has the potential to change lives, Iona has pursued projects including, leadership of the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register and early intervention clinical trials.


Ilina Singh, PhD.

Professor in Neuroscience & Society. Department of Psychiatry and Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, England.

Professor Singh’s work examines the psycho-social and ethical implications of advances in biomedicine and neuroscience for young people and families.


Peter Szatmari, MD, FRCP.

Doctor Szatmari is Chief of the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto. Patsie and Jamie Anderson Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health, University of Toronto, Canada.

Doctor Szatmari has worked in the field of autism spectrum disorder for over 30 years. His interest is in the genetics of the disorder, clinical presentation. He is currently conducting a long term follow up study of children with ASD.


Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss, PhD.

Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Professor Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss Laboratory for Innovations in Rehabilitation Technology focuses on the development and evaluation of novel virtual environments, assistive technology interfaces, and co-located and distance technologies as means activities and participation in community life.  Disability populations of interest include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, stroke, developmental coordination disorder, spectrum disorder and head trauma.


Bengt Westerberg


Bengt Westerberg is a Swedish politician who was Minister for Social Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister 1991 to 1994. He was instrumental in developing and passing the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS), which gives disabled people the right to personal assistance. After this period Bengt Westerberg has among several other missions been chairman of the Swedish Research Council, and Deputy President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.