We are a wonderful mix of different and neurodiverse people from a range of professional backgrounds and experiences. Some of us love to be in front of the camera, and others prefer to be behind it. Some of us love a chat on the phone or face-to-face and others prefer to chat online. We bring an eclectic mix of strengths and talents that allow us to do exciting things and try to make a difference!
Professor Amanda Kirby
Amanda is the CEO. She also holds a chair in developmental disorders at the University of South Wales and is a qualified GP, and worked for some years in adult psychiatry.
Amanda also founded The Dyscovery Centre in 1997, a specialist centre for children and adults with developmental disorders. She has a close personal interest in neurodiversity as many close family members are wonderful and talented neurodiverse people.
She has delivered extensive training relating to mental health and neurodiversity to more than 100,000 people nationally and internationally and to large scale organisations and SMEs.
She is the chair of the UK umbrella organisation for movement difficulties (www.movementmatters.uk.org). She sat on the Hidden Impairment National Group.
Amanda’s has published many books in the field of neurodiversity, which have been translated into many languages, and has many peer-reviewed papers in the field and continues to undertake research.
Dr Ian Smythe
Ian is the COO, and an education consultant, bringing together expertise in literacy and assessment, with specific reference to those disenfranchised in an increasingly literate environment. He combines his research background and software development skills with his extensive expertise in literacy to produce effective solutions for wide implementation in the classroom and beyond.
His international work developed out of his PhD research into cognitive diversity and reading difficulties in different languages. These include Brazilian Portuguese, Hungarian and Chinese, as well as English and Welsh.
Dr Smythe has worked with foreign governments and non-governmental organisations (e.g. the World Bank) – conducting workshops, lectures and seminars around the world, including Angola, Brazil, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Poland and the Philippines.
During his activities in 15 EU project support related to Learning Difficulties, Ian worked with more than 20 countries, not only on resources development but also ensuring the adaptation and modifications were appropriate for the local linguistic and cultural environments.
Dr Smythe has written several works on dyslexia and technology, and has worked with dyslexia in different languages and countries. His books have been published in Bosnian, Brazilian, Bulgarian, Polish and Czech and English. This is in addition to the multilingual resources of the EU projects.He has also written a large number of research papers, and continues to provide support and advise to NGO and individuals around the world.
His activities in Do-IT are diverse, and include development of systems with respect to data analytics at the local (i.e. individual) level to the national level in terms of implementation and optimisation of the user experience, development of assessments in diverse language, and long term technical implementation strategies.