Mr Rod Wills
MA, BSocSci, DipAppSocStud, TColDip
Rod Wills has a background in education / special education, social work and disability support. He is a Senior Lecturer and taught in the Center for Special Education for over a decade prior to the creation of the School of Social and Policy Studies where his primary focus is disability studies in education.
Rod has in-depth knowledge of the formation and implementation of special education policy in New Zealand. He holds both teaching and social work qualifications. Whilst initially involved with other parents of children with Down syndrome in a voluntary support role the completion of his social work training saw him employed in the health system working in the area of disability services. As the process of de-institutionalisation took place in the Auckland region he led the multi-disciplinary clinical team supporting people with intellectual disability living in the Auckland region. He has held positions of leadership in a range of innovate community ventures delivering services to families and disabled people for more than twenty years. His expertise is informed by this depth of engagement alongside his research and scholarship in the following areas:
- Disability Studies in Education
- Special Education
- Disability and Families
- Education policy and disability
- Disability Arts
Research | Current
- The formation of an ethical understanding of disability, families, and dependency care; in medical education and the training of General Practitioners.
- Diversity and disability, undergraduate education and the use of ICT, visual arts and theatre in professional education.
- Parents, disability services and the law – the application of advocacy training and resolution in special education in New Zealand.
Teaching | Current
EDUC 118, EDUC 113, EDPROFST 205, EDPROFST 612 B, EDPROFST 739, EDPROFST 767, EDPROFST 764, DISABLTY 113G, DISABLTY 313, DISABLTY 110.
Course Director / Co-Director; EDUC 113, EDPROFST 739, EDPROFST 767, EDPROFST 764, DISABLTY 113G, DISABLTY 313, DISABLTY 110.
- American Education Resarch Association – Disability Studies in Education – special interest group
- Interacting Disability Theatre Trust – Chair
- Family Advocacy Charitable Trust – Chair
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Wills, R. M. (2017). Easy Targets: Seen and not heard - The silencing and invisibility of disabled children and parents in post-reform Aotearoa New Zealand. In K. Runswick-Cole, T. Curran, K. Liddiard (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies. Houndsmill, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Wills, R., Chenoweth, L., & Ellem, K. (2016). Disability and transition from state education to community life: next steps for parents. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20 (5), 552-567. 10.1080/13603116.2015.1095252
- Wills, R. M. (2016). Re-imagining Belonging: Community Film and Identity. Paper presented at The Inclusive Education Summit 2016, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. 8 July - 10 July 2016.
- Mullen, M., & Wills, R. (2016). Re-Storying Disability through the Arts: Providing a Counterpoint to Mainstream Narratives. New Zealand Journal of Research in Performing Arts and Education, 6, 5-16. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Molly Mullen
- Wills, R. (2015). Here’s looking at you! Disability theatre and change. Paper presented at International Applied Theatre Symposium: The Performance of Hope, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. 9 November - 11 November 2015. Related URL.
- Wills, R., Morton, M., McLean, M., Stephenson, M., & Slee, R. (Eds.) (2014). Tales from school: Learning disability and state education after administrative reform. Netherlands: Sense. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Missy Morton
- McLean, M. A., Andraschko, G., Elsworth, E., Harris, J., Selveraj, J., & Webster, C. (2014). Parents of disabled children talk about their experiences after Special Education 2000. In R. Wills, M. Morton, M. McLean, M. Stephenson, R. Slee (Eds.) Tales from school: learning disability and state education after administrative reform (pp. 149-163). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Related URL.
- Wills, R. M., & Rosenbaum, S. A. (2014). The problematics of inclusive education in New Zealand today. In R. Wills, M. Morton, M. A. McLean, M. Stephenson, R. Slee (Eds.) Tales from school: Learning disability and state education after administrative reform (pp. 91-108). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense.