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Personal profile

Research Biography

Dr Fiona Rillotta is a Lecturer in Disability and Community Inclusion in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She has a PhD in Psychology, and Bachelor of Social Science (Honours).

Fiona was awarded the 2017 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2007 Australasian Research Prize - most innovative contribution resulting in positive life changes for people with intellectual disability.

Fiona's research includes: inclusive university for people with intellectual disability; enhancing social networks of adults with intellectual disability; family quality of life; and attitudes towards intellectual disability. Fiona has published several journal articles and three book chapters. She is Primary Supervisor to three PhD students; has attended/ presented at several national and international conferences; and is peer reviewer for several international journals.

She has been working with people with disabilities of various ages in various settings for almost 20 years, including: supporting inclusion of adults with intellectual disability at university and in the community; self advocacy training/ mentoring for adults with intellectual disability; program evaluation; disability awareness training; school classroom learning support for students with intellectual disability; and training/ supervising Special Olympics athlete leaders.

Fiona is well connected internationally and she is an executive committee member of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) - Inclusive Education Special Interest Research Group and Quality of Life Special Interest Research Group.

Research Interests

  • Attitudes towards people with an intellectual disability
  • Inclusive postsecondary/ higher education for people with intellectual disability
  • Family quality of life
  • Self advocacy for people with intellectual disability
  • Awareness of disability in the community
  • Inclusion of people with intellectual disability in society


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Disability and community inclusion

Supervisory Interests

  • Quality of life for people with disabilities
  • Intellectual disability
  • Inclusive practices
  • Higher education for people with intellectual disability
  • Attitudes and awareness
  • Inclusive research
  • Self-advocacy
  • Self-determination


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