Chair of the Karten Network board
Trained as an environmental scientist, holding degrees in combined sciences, and in Pollution Control.
Worked in the environmental sector from 1980 to 2009, for a mixture of utility companies, waste management contractors and then the Environment Agency. From 2006 to 2009 I was Head Of Enforcement for the Environment Agency tackling issues of organised environmental crime.
Worked on projects and campaigning at regional, national and international level on issues of consistent regulation, responsible waste management and tackling organised waste crime. Participated and led capacity building projects on environmental regulation and enforcement in Russia and South Africa, and was a member of the Interpol Environmental Crimes Committee, building collaboration and intelligence sharing across Interpol membership.
In 2009 joined Keep Britain Tidy as Operations and Commercial Director campaigning on issues of littering and local environmental quality.
Joined Beacon Centre in January 2013. As CEO at Beacon I have responsibilities across the whole breadth of the charity, including its long term strategy, operations, income generating activities, as well as our PR & media activities and establishing new enterprise ventures within our Beacon4Life CIC social enterprise.
My wife is visually impaired and therefore I have a strong empathy with the issues of sight loss and feel passionately that many people living with sight loss are not yet getting the full benefit of support that is available. In particular technology can play a much bigger role in reducing the impact of sight loss and disabilities more generally, but it also needs to be more accessible in terms of usability and cost, as well as different services (including charities) needing to collaborate more to give a better overall service to customers.
Karten Network is therefore a natural home for me, and I feel genuinely proud to be leading the team to develop the fantastic work being done and fulfil its future potential.
Vice chair of the Karten Network board
Rohan has 16 years’ experience of supporting technology in the education sector. Rohan has an IT, assistive technology and education management background, and is a qualified teacher. Rohan is currently employed by Jisc as a subject specialist working with universities, colleges and other Jisc members on various technology led consultancy / advice and guidance activities.
Rohan was previously employed at Scope’s Beaumont College (a Natspec independent specialist college) as assistant principal and formerly as the head of technology.
Rohan led the development of the integrated ‘technology team’ at Beaumont College which consists of both mainstream IT staff and assistive technologists who work with students and other specialist staff to deploy assistive technology/IT hardware and software solutions.
Rohan has worked on organisational strategy, general management and led a number of national scale projects. Most recently he was the project manager of the Jisc funded DART2.1 project. Rohan has done consultancy work for large general further education colleges, higher education institutions, specialist colleges and schools in the areas of assistive technology, IT and technology and the integration of such with the curriculum.
In 2014 Rohan completed an MSc by research in computing and communication systems at Lancaster University that focused on how home automation / internet of things technology can be made accessible to disabled people.
Rohan was chair of the Jisc / Natspec technology advisory group until July 2015 and is a currently vice chair of the Karten Network board.
Having worked in administration and customer service roles for a period of 10 years, Christine began her journey into teaching in 1987 and accepted her first full-time post with Portland College in 1989. The range of disabilities is vast and includes cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and associated learning difficulties.
Her role as a teacher has continually changed, over the years, to ensure that her students are being trained in relevant subjects to assist them with gaining employment, according to the needs of the job market and developing life skills to be able to live more independently.
She has mentored other teachers to the highest standards, using innovative methods and creative resources over the last 20 years. She was also invited to work with City & Guilds to create a qualification for desktop publishing.
Following an Ofsted report in 2004, which recognised her for good practice, in 2005 Christine was invited to engage with a government initiative to improve the standards in teaching and learning.
As an Advanced Learning Coach she received funding to carry out action research, delivered the Subject Learning Coach Professional Training Programme to teachers in the FE sector and worked as an educational consultant, facilitating a series of network meetings to teachers nationwide.
Christine is also an author, having had her book published in October 2013, which tells the story of her journey as a teacher, mentor and coach even though her maths teacher said she was not clever enough to become a teacher – see www.christineaprice.com for further information and her book is available to buy on Amazon.com.
Portland College was funded by the Karten Trust in 2000 to set up a CTEC Centre and Christine was asked to manage it. She has been involved with the Karten Network since then and was asked to become a director for the Karten Network, which encourages CTEC Centres to share good practice.
Vic first started teaching over 15 years ago at a psychiatric unit in Redditch. This experience helped identify her passion - to help enable those with disabilities and difficulties to reach their full potential and to lead fulfilling lives. Vic currently works as an Assistant Principal at Homefield College, in Leicestershire. With a special education needs degree in Autism plus a keen interest in IT, Vic likes to discover new technologies that enable individuals with disabilities and difficulties to participate and achieve. Vic has been involved in many bids over the years, both for Homefield College and in partnership with other colleges. Bids have varied from exploring and sharing best practice, through to innovative ways of using IT in learning. Vic was very proud to have been involved with the em-safety project. Homefield College was fortunate to receive support from Karten Trust in 2010, to develop its already well established eBay enterprise and create Sip & Surf - an internet café, learning centre and print enterprise supported by more accessible and up to date IT equipment, located in Loughborough town centre.
My name is Joe Cash and I am currently working as the ICT Officer with The Cedar Foundation in Northern Ireland (http://www.cedar-foundation.org). I have a background in Computing, obtaining my degree in 2000. I have kept my IT skills current by completing a variety of IT based qualifications (Comptia A+ 2003, OU post graduate Certificates in User Interface Design, Relational Databases 2009, MCAS Word 2009, Java Programming 2014). I have recently commenced the Certificate in Teaching, Ulster University to refresh and upgrade my teaching skills.
Over the past 15 years I have worked with a wide variety of people with disabilities including Cedar's Children's Services and Brain Injury Services. In my current role I have delivered assessment and training to adults with disabilities as part of the organisation's Training Services. In addition I have designed and implemented bespoke Assistive Technology solutions where necessary. I also provide training and support in AT to health care professionals in Northern Ireland as part of Cedar's outreach program.
I hope my knowledge and experience of working with people with disability and a sound knowledge of IT will inform my role as a Director of the Network Board.
Matthew Kayne is a disability rights campaigner and accessible ICT advocate.
Matthew’s interest in technology goes back to his days at Treloar College, a specialist further education college for students with physical disabilities. During his time at the college, he set up an Internet radio station and got a true sense of the potential of technology. Matthew sees technology as being the great equaliser and would like to live in a world where technology is accessible to everyone.
He joined the Karten Network Board, advising on disability and technology in further education and daily life.
He also volunteers at Jewish Care, the largest Jewish social care charity in the UK, where he serves as a designer in printbox and runs a weekly bingo session at the Michael Sobell Centre. Additionally, Matthew sits on the Community Services Consultative Committee, advising on Jewish Care’s services across its care homes and community activities.
Matthew successfully campaigned for step-free access into shops in Golders Green where he lives. He continues to campaign for better public access for disabled people in his local area.
Matthew graduated from Middlesex University with a BSc in Computing and Networks. He is excited about the role technology plays in all of our futures and believes that artificial intelligence (AI), such as autonomous vehicles, will revolutionise mobility and independence for disabled people.
Sandi Wassmer is a compassionate technologist, leading digital services at Jewish Care, which includes Jewish Care Interact (www.jewishcareinteract.org), a digital hub for older and disabled people, the KC Shasha Centre for Talking News & Books and an ambitious digital engagement strategy around Jewish Care's Karten Centres.
Sandi is a passionate thought leader in inclusive design and accessible ICT, as well as a businesswoman, human rights advocate, marketer, writer and public speaker. She has worked in a range of commercial organisations throughout her career, as CFO & COO of Universal Studios' SyFy UK TV Channel, COO of Unilever's first dotcom investment and MD of digital agency, Copious.
Sandi joined the Karten Board as a non-executive director in July 2016. She is also a Trustee of RNIB Group and Action for Blind People.