Frances Gentle is a Lecturer in Vision Impairment at NextSense Institute.
Her role includes coordination and lecturing of postgraduate courses in the field of sensory impairment, as well as research into current issues relating to education of children experiencing vision loss. Frances completed her doctoral studies in early 2012 and received the 2012 University of Newcastle Award for Regional Leadership. This honour was in recognition of her educational development work in the Asia-Pacific region in countries such as Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.
Frances received the honour of Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in 2018 for distinguished service to people who are blind or have low vision, particularly in the area of special education and policy development and practice on inclusiveness and standards.
Frances has worked in the education and disability fields for approximately 30 years. Prior employment has included St. Edmund's School for Students with Vision Impairments and Other Special Needs, Wahroonga NSW (1995-2005); the American School in Japan (ASIJ), the Tokyo International Learning Centre and Vocational Development Centre for the Blind in Tokyo (1994-1995); Lucas Gardens School, Canada Bay NSW (1991-1994); and St Mary’s School, Rydalmere NSW (1990-1991).
Frances is involved in a range of international and regional organisations including the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (President); the South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (Co-President and Member of the Editorial Committee for the SPEVI Journal); Executive Member, World Braille Council; and Member of the Inclusive Education Task Group of the International Disability and Development Consortium.
- Contemporary issues associated with educational standards and pedagogy
- Braille literacy and numeracy development
- Curriculum and instructional approaches to education for students with vision impairment, including those with additional disabilities
- National planning and priority setting promoting education for children with disabilities in Asia-Pacific region