Dr Elliott Spaeth

Lecturer in Academic and Digital Development

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Dr Elliott Spaeth with overlay

Elliott is a lecturer in academic practice, which involves helping other university educators think about, and make decisions about, their teaching. He specialises in inclusive learning and teaching in higher education, with a particular focus on disability and neurodiversity. He is passionate about making higher education a genuinely inclusive place for disabled people.

This involves a huge culture shift, helping educators understand that existing practice (including rules, standards, and conceptions about appropriate behaviour) is often based on social norms, and therefore privileges non-disabled people.

He advocates for proactively inclusive environments by encouraging educators to decide what elements of learning and teaching are non-negotiable, and by helping them to think flexibly and creatively about a range of ways of designing and facilitating everything else.

His work at the University of Glasgow includes co-founding a Neurodiversity Network for staff and students, co-developing a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on inclusion and diversity in education, creating an academic course for new lecturers on teaching inclusively and contributing to policy and strategic decisions on disability and neurodiversity.

He is disabled, neurodivergent and trans.

“For decades, I tried to figure out how to avoid getting things wrong. A turning point for me was realising that a lot of what people describe as appropriate or professional behaviour is really just their own preference, or something they’ve internalised from someone else. Behaviour usually isn’t inherently wrong or bad, it just might have impacts on others that it’s respectful to consider.”