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Professor Jane Katherine Seale

Jane Seale sat on a castle wall in italy

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor in Education & REF Unit Panel Chair
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • Faculty Office
  • Research Excellence
  • jane.seale

Professional biography

Jane graduated from Plymouth Polytechnic in 1987 with a degree in psychology. She then went on to join the Computer Applications to Special Education Research Unit at Keele University where she completed her phd focusing on the management of special needs technology in adult special education. In 1993 she joined Southampton University, taking on various roles including lecturer in higher education and innovation. Between 2000 and 2002 Jane set up the first ever UK based Masters in Assistive Technology at Kings College, London. In 2010 Jane became Professor in Education at Plymouth University, moving in 2013 to take up a position of Professor in Inclusive Education at Exeter University. Jane joined the OU in April 2016.

Jane has developed a national and international profile in the field through key roles such as President of the Association for Learning Technology (2006-7) and Digital Inclusion consultant to the ESRC funded Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Programme in the UK (2009-2012).Between 2007 and 2010 Jane was Co-Director of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods. She has recently served on the REF 2014 Education panel in the UK which had the responsibility for assessing the quality of research conducted in UK universities.

Research interests

Jane’s teaching and research interests lie at the intersections between disability, technology and inclusion. Her work focuses in particular on the role that technologies play in the lives of people with learning disabilities and the factors that influence or sustain the digital exclusion of disabled learners. Her recent work has also focused on how the inclusive practices of teachers and support workers might be enhanced through the development of 'positive risk taking'.

 Jane’s methodological interest is the development and evaluation of participatory research methods that promote voice and empowerment for disabled research partners. Jane has recently  completed a research study entitled “Towards equal and active citizenship: pushing the boundaries of participatory research with people with learning disabilities. Jane has applied this work to the conceptual development of student voice work in higher education.


A proposal for a unified framework for the design of technologies for people with learning difficulties (2018-09-05)
Seale, Jane; Garcia-Carrizosa, Helena; Rix, Jonty; Sheehy, Kieron and Hayhoe, Simon
Technology and Disability, 30(1-2) (pp. 25-40)
From the voice of a ‘Socratic Gadfly’: a call for more academic activism in the researching of disability in postsecondary education (2017-02)
Seale, Jane K
European Journal of Special Needs Education, 32(1) (pp. 153-169)
How does risk mediate the ability of adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live a normal life by using the Internet? (2017)
Seale, Jane and Chadwick, Darren
Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 11, Article 2(1)
The Conundrum of Training and Capacity Building for People with Learning Disabilities Doing Research (2016-11)
Nind, Melanie; Seale, Jane; Chapman, Rohhss and Tilley, Liz
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 29(6) (pp. 542-551)
How can we confidently judge the extent to which student voice in higher education has been genuinely amplified? A proposal for a new evaluation framework (2016)
Seale, Jane
Research Papers in Education, 31(2) (pp. 212-233)
Not the right kind of ‘digital capital’? An examination of the complex relationship between disabled students, their technologies and higher education institutions (2015-03)
Seale, Jane; Georgeson, Jan; Mamas, Christoforos and Swain, Julie
Computers & Education, 82 (pp. 118-128)
Negotiating a third space for participatory research with people with learning disabilities: an examination of boundaries and spatial practices (2015)
Seale, Jane; Nind, Melanie; Tilley, Liz and Chapman, Rohhss
The European Journal of Social Science Research, 28(4) (pp. 483-497)
Power and resistance: Reflections on the rhetoric and reality of using participatory methods to promote student voice and engagement in higher education (2015)
Seale, Jane; Gibson, Suanne; Haynes, Joanna and Potter, Alice
Journal of Further and Higher Education, 39(4) (pp. 534-552)
Inclusive research in education: contributions to method and debate (2014)
Seale, Jane; Nind, Melanie and Parsons, Sarah
International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 37(4) (pp. 347-356)
The role of supporters in facilitating the use of technologies by adolescents and adults with learning disabilities: a place for positive risk-taking? (2014)
Seale, Jane
European Journal of Special Needs Education, 29(2) (pp. 220-236)
When digital capital is not enough: reconsidering the digital lives of disabled university students (2013)
Seale, Jane
Learning, Media and Technology, 38(3) (pp. 256-269)
Transforming positive risk-taking practices: the possibilities of creativity and resilience in learning disability contexts (2013)
Seale, Jane; Nind, Melanie and Simmons, Ben
Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 15(3) (pp. 233-248)
E-Learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice. Second Edition (2014)
Seale, Jane K.
ISBN : 9780415629409 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York


The OU is positive about carers

The OU has been awarded Carer Positive ‘established' status by Carers Scotland.

19th July 2018
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