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Celebrating Excellence: ADCET Proudly Acknowledges Merrin McCracken and Andrew Downie for receiving ATEND Honorary Life Memberships

The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) is delighted to announce that Merrin McCracken and Andrew Downie, both current casual ADCET staff members, have received an Honorary Life Membership Award from the Australian Tertiary Education Network on Disability (ATEND) at the recent Pathways 16 conference. This distinguished Award recognises the exceptional contributions of Merrin and Andrew to the field of disability, access, inclusion and equity in the tertiary education sector.

Merrin McCracken, the former Manager of Access and Inclusion, Deakin University, has been a guiding force in fostering inclusive learning environments. Her dedication has not only removed barriers for students with disability but has also made Deakin a leader in supporting students with disability on a national scale. Merrin's influence extended beyond the university, shaping the national discourse on disability and equity in tertiary education. Merrin's impact on the sector has remained profound beyond her retirement from Deakin University in 2021.

Andrew Downie has been a pivotal figure in the realm of accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Recognised for his encyclopaedic knowledge and passionate advocacy for inclusion and accessibility, Andrew's expertise has significantly contributed to making information and websites more accessible, especially for individuals with vision impairments. His generosity in sharing knowledge, both individually and in professional development settings, has been instrumental in advancing accessibility in education and employment.

Merrin and Andrew’s commitment to inclusivity, combined with their expertise and ongoing commitment to improving accessibility have not only enriched ADCET but have also left an enduring legacy in the broader landscape of disability and equity in tertiary education. The ATEND Honorary Life Memberships bestowed upon them are a testament to their remarkable contributions to fostering a more inclusive educational environment for all.