The Future is Sensory

SIE Annual Conference: Virtual Event Launches 22 November 2021

Featuring keynote speakers Dr Teresa May-Benson and Dr Varleisha D. Gibbs, as well as a packed line up of presentations to dip in and out of at your convenience, this is an unmissable event and completely free of charge.

Our theme this year is The Future is Sensory which encompasses the increasing awareness of sensory integration and processing difficulties as well as the increasing demand for services; research that is pushing forward our understanding of sensory difficulties and the evidence for SI interventions; and future directions for training in sensory integration.

We are again offering this exciting virtual conference free of charge in continuing recognition of the difficult circumstances that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed many of our therapists and families in. The Annual Conference launches on Monday 22 November with 7 days’ free access to the pre-recorded presentations.

Access these thought-provoking sessions with your free ticket:


Key Note: Praxis Assessments Across the Lifespan by Dr Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Teresa A. May-Benson, Sc.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, is a world-renowned lecturer and researcher on sensory integration. She is the author of the Adult/Adolescent Sensory History (ASH), the Gravitational Insecurity (GI) Assessment and the Test of Ideational Praxis in addition to numerous articles and book chapters on praxis, ideation, and sensory integration. 

Dr May-Benson has extensive experience with children and adults with autism and a diverse clinical background having worked in private and public school settings as well as private practice. She is past chairperson of the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She is the recipient of the Virginia Scardinia Award of Excellence from AOTF, The Alice S. Bachman Award from Pediatric Therapy Network, and the Catherine Trombly Award from the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapy.


Key Note: Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder by Dr Varleisha D. Gibbs, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Dr Varleisha D. Gibbs PhD, OTD, OTR/L is the Vice President of Practice Engagement and Capacity Building at the American Occupational Therapy Association(AOTA).

Prior to joining AOTA, she served as the Scientific Programs Officer at the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Dr Gibbs is an international lecturer, researcher, and author. Along with being a tenured associate professor, she was the inaugural chair at Wesley College’s Master’s Program in Occupational Therapy, the first in the State of Delaware. Her areas of expertise include neuroanatomy, self-regulation strategies across the lifespan, health disparities, and pediatric therapeutic interventions. Dr Gibbs founded and operated a private therapy firm for over 10 years.

Dr Gibbs began her career after receiving her baccalaureate degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware. She continued her studies in the field of Occupational Therapy receiving a Master’s of Science degree from Columbia University and a clinical doctorate from Thomas Jefferson University. Dr Gibbs completed her Ph.D. program in Health Sciences Leadership at Seton Hall University.

As an occupational therapist, Varleisha has a passion for designing strategies to support individuals in their journey to live their most independent and fulfilled lives. In addition to being a licensed occupational therapist, she is an author, renown international speaker, and expert in the areas of the neurological connections for self-regulation, sensory processing, trauma responsive care, and health and wellness.


Welcome from the SIE ChairRosalind Rogers

A Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, senior lecturer and Fellow of her University’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice, Rosalind Rogers has been Chair of Sensory Integration Education since 2014. 


Supporting Mothers of Children with Sensory Integration Difficulties by Sue Allen, M.Sc., B.Sc(Hons), Occupational Therapist

Sue Allen is a Consultant Occupational Therapist, highly experienced clinician, lecturer and researcher, as well as a Fellow of Sensory Integration Education. 


Creating Sensory Accessibility by Joanna Grace, Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, Author, Trainer and Speaker


Joanna Grace is a Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, Author, Trainer, TEDx Speaker and Founder of The Sensory Projects. The Sensory Projects run on the principle that with the right knowledge and a little creativity inexpensive items can become effective sensory tools for inclusion. In all of her work, Joanna seeks to contribute to a future where people are understood in spite of their differences.


Can Sensory Integration have a Role in the Multi-element Behavioural Intervention? by Ciara McGill, Occupational Therapist and Advanced SI Practitioner


Ciara McGill is an Advanced Practitioner Occupational Therapist in the Community Adult Learning Disability Team at The Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland, and an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration. Ciara discusses her MSc in SI research, which was published in the British Journal of Learning Disabilities: ‘Can sensory integration have a role in multi-element behavioural intervention? An evaluation of factors associated with the management of challenging behaviour in community adult learning disability services.’

Integrating Therapy and Education by Rachael Thompson BSc, PGCE with QTS, PGCert in SI, MSc Occupational Therapy


Rachael Thompson BSc, PGCE with QTS, PGCert Sensory Integration, MSc Occupational Therapy is Head of Therapy at Cairn Education. Rachael has worked at independent specialist colleges for over 10 years in roles including Tutor, Occupational Therapist, Head of Education and Vice Principal.


Sensory Street - Update on this University of Oxford research project exploring the lives of autistic people with sensory processing difficulties using creative and immersive experiences.

What does it mean to be an autistic person with sensory processing difficulties? How do sensory aspects of an environment impact autistic people? How can we help people learn about what sensory processing difficulties are like? These are the questions we are asking at Sensory Street, a research project at the University of Oxford. Our Wellcome Trust funded project aims to work with the autistic community in creating an immersive event to help people learn more about sensory processing difficulties in a creative and interesting way.


Auditing the Impact of Online Sensory Training by Kim Griffin, Occupational Therapist and Advanced SI Practitioner

Kim Griffin, Occupational Therapist, Advanced SI Practitioner and founder of GriffinOT,  has worked in Australia, Ireland and the UK and trained with Lucy Miller and Zoe Mailloux.


Yoga and Mindfulness: A Taster Session by Mel Campbell, Occupational Therapist and Advanced SI Practitioner

Mel Campbell has been an Occupational Therapist for over 20 years. During her journey, she took some time out to bring up her children and found herself studying yoga as a way of developing her own self-practice. This led her to becoming a teacher in yoga. Returning to her profession as an OT after her break, she found herself drawn to the study of sensory integration. She has always been interested in neurology and fascinated by the brain and this approach seemed to make so much sense to her. The more she studied the theory of sensory integration during her MSc in SI, the more she found her two worlds of being a yoga teacher and an advanced sensory integration practitioner merging.


Sensory Integration Education and Sheffield Hallam University Awards 2021 presented by Prof Chris Wigginton, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global and Academic Partnerships, Sheffield Hallam University

Join us in celebrating the new SI Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner graduates! Professor Chris Wigginton, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global and Academic Partnerships, Sheffield Hallam University will announce the winners of the SIE Legacy Awards. The Legacy Awards celebrate achievement and nurture talent in the sensory integration community. They are part of the SIE Legacy Project in acknowledgement of and gratitude to those who introduced Ayres Sensory Integration to the UK and Ireland in the 1970s and to those who have worked to shape training and practice since that time. 


PLUS Your Virtual Delegate Pack With Contributions From SIE's Preferred Suppliers

Don't Delay: Book Now

The event will open on 22 November and close on 28 November 2021.

SIE Conference: The Future is Sensory

22 -28 November 2022

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