Support Team

The Karten Network support team consists of:

Dawn Green

Dawn Green

Karten Network Development Co-ordinator

Dawn is the Karten Network Development Co-ordinator based in the UK. She has over 20 years' experience working in Further Education, the majority of this time spent in senior leadership roles in Specialist Colleges. Dawn has always been motivated to use innovative methods to enable people with disabilities to engage optimally in all aspects of their lives. Technology is a powerful enabler and Dawn looks forward to working with Centres as technology advances to ensure that we make the most of opportunities in order to improve the life chances of those we support.

Debbie Ben-Tal

Karten Network Development Co-ordinator

Debbie joined the Trust in November 2013. She has previously worked as an OT in Karten Centres in Israel, and now divides her time between developing the Karten Network in Israel, working as an OT for a number of organisations and her family.

Martin Pistorius

Technology Advisor

Martin provides mobile technology support, and facilitates bringing together the resources already in the Network. He has a Computer Science background, and a passion for technology.

Liz Howarth

Liz Howarth

Karten Network Project Co-ordinator

Liz is a Project Co-ordinator for the Karten Network, working on the Nuvoic project which aims to improve access to voice recognition technologies for people with dysarthric or unclear speech. Liz has recently worked as a health researcher at the University of Manchester, contributing to several trials and evaluation studies, and has previously worked in learning and communication support and assistive technology roles at Beaumont College in Lancaster.

There, she provided technical and learning support to students who use voice output communication aids, and through the Wheeltop project worked to improve students’ access to education, entertainment, social networking and environmental controls through development of customised interfaces for tablets and portable devices.

Liz is looking forward to working with Karten Centre teams to support participation in the Nuvoic project. This will be an opportunity for people with dysarthric speech who are unable to use mainstream voice recognition systems to get involved in testing and improving more accessible voice control. Potential applications include voice output for communication with others, or to interact with existing voice-driven systems such as the Amazon Alexa and other smart-home devices. If you would like more information on the Nuvoic project please contact: liz@karten-network.org.uk.

Fil McIntyre

Fil McIntyre

TechAbility Manager and Assistive Technology Lead

Fil is passionate about the advantages the right technology can give to enhance life, learning and communication. He has provided training in assistive technology hardware and software to a wide range of professionals from schools, colleges, universities, charities and healthcare. Fil moved to managing TechAbility full time in February 2021 after three years in a split role between TechAbility and Beaumont College in Lancaster. At Beaumont College, Fil was the Lead Assistive Technologist where he managed a team which assessed and supported students to gain maximum advantage from technology. Prior to Beaumont College, as part of The BRITE Initiative, Fil delivered Assistive Technology training and support to every college in Scotland. He has also been part of the training team at Inclusive Technology and developed the first assistive technology post at Seashell Trust specialist school and college.

Neil Beck

Neil Harrod-Beck

TechAbility Assistive Technology Projects Lead

Neil has experience at local, national and international levels through roles to support both in specialist and mainstream environments. His focus for TechAbility is on projects such as Champions, the webinar programme and much more. He has a record of delivering high quality training, assessments, webinars, seminars and projects and is passionate about using what he has learned to improve educational outcomes and standards of living. European experience has come about through Erasmus project work and International experience through work in India. Sitting on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology and the subsequent DfE expert group has enabled him to learn about and contribute to policy – notably the 2019 EdTech Policy. Neil has a background in delivering care/education and is interested in politics, nature, yoga, computer-building and volunteers to help refugees with technology.

Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

Nuvoic project Technologist

Sean is a Technologist on the Nuvoic project which aims to improve access to voice recognition technologies for people with dysarthric or unclear speech.

Sean comes from a psychology background and has over 10 years of experience in supporting individuals using technology as a training officer with the Cedar Foundation. He is passionate about promoting independence through helping people to improve their digital skills.

As a Technologist on the Nuvoic project, Sean is looking forward to exploring the opportunity for people with dysarthric speech who are unable to use mainstream voice recognition systems to get involved in testing and improving more accessible voice control. This has potential applications like voice output for communication with other people and to enable the use of existing voice recognition devices like Amazon Alexa which can provide independent control of other smart-home devices such as bulbs, heating, cameras and even blinds. (As well as play 90’s rock anthems through Amazon Music or Spotify on your device if desired!)

If you would like more information on the Nuvoic project please contact Sean, sean@karten-network.org.uk or Nuvoic Project Co-ordinator Liz, liz@karten-network.org.uk

Geena Vabulas

Geena Vabulas

Nuvoic Project Technologist

Geena is a technologist on the Nuvoic project, which aims to improve access to voice recognition technologies for people with dysarthric or non-standard speech. She also works as a Policy Manager for Assistive Technology for the cross-party think tank Policy Connect. Geena is concerned with how technology can both enable and disable people, with a particular interest in neurodiversity. She is very excited to be on the Nuvoic project and helping to improve access to voice-recognition systems.

Previously, Geena worked as a research assistant on the iRead project and as an Assistive Technologist for a specialist school in London. Geena received her Master's (distinction) in Education and Technology from the IOE at UCL.

Ines Meza-Mitcher

Ines Meza-Mitcher

Administrator

Ines has over a decade of experience working in administrative support roles across a variety of sectors. She has a particular interest in charity governance and supporting boards to achieve best practice. Outside work, she enjoys writing and is currently working on a novel.