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News about Dr Greg Kelly, SIE Fellow

24 Sep 2020 09:49 | SIE Support (Administrator)

We thought that you would like to join us in congratulating SIE Fellow Dr Greg Kelly on his retirement as Reader at Ulster University after over 30 years of lecturing there and pushing forward the frontiers of sensory integration training and research in the UK for more than 40 years. Greg was instrumental in setting up SIE’s MSc in Sensory Integration pathway in 2011, then accredited by Ulster University.

As Greg has been such a wonderful source of guidance and encouragement to our SI students and practitioners over the decades, we thought that you may like to contribute a few words to Greg’s retirement card. If you would like to wish him well or share an anecdote, please pop your comments on this form and we’ll present them to Greg along with a gift from ourselves. 

But, whilst we are celebrating Greg’s long career as a lecturer and Course Director, we are not saying goodbye to him completely because we are delighted to confirm that Greg will be bringing his wealth of experience to work with SIE in a consultant capacity. 

We’ve included a short biography of Greg’s SI career below, explaining how he went from first hearing of sensory integration back in 1979; corresponding with Dr Jean Ayres;  and then going on to help promote and professionalise SI training and practice in the UK and Ireland. 

Dr Greg Kelly

In 2019, Greg received an SIE Honorary Fellowship for sustained commitment to developing SI theory and practice in the UK, Ireland and beyond, over a 40-year period and for his outstanding leadership in providing university-accredited SI training, since the MSc in SI was launched in 2011.

Greg’s interest in SI dates back to 1979 when he was working as an OT in a psychiatric hospital and read an article by King (1977). A year later when working with children in a speech and language assessment unit, he began to explore using SI with the support of his speech and language therapist colleagues. No formal SI courses were available locally at that time though so he developed his own knowledge by reading widely and practising delivering SI using home-made equipment.

Spurred on by some amazing results, he purchased the Southern California SI tests and Post Rotary Tests, writing to Jean Ayres to ask permission to use them without any formal training. Jean Ayres wrote back saying he didn’t need permission and wished him luck.

Greg then formed an SI study group with others (including Eadaoin Breathnach) to teach himself the basics. This then became affiliated with the Scottish-based study group on perception and then, in 1990, the Irish SI Association was formed. And as courses and workshops became available, he took every opportunity to attend these, in the UK and beyond.

Greg also completed a degree in psychology and an MSc, and in 1987 became a lecturer in OT at Ulster University. His published works inspired others to begin learning about SI principles and to go on to develop theory and practice further for themselves. His dedication to promoting SI theory and practice continued throughout the 1990s with the different study groups eventually merging to form the organisation we are all part of today: the SI Network UK and Ireland, now trading as Sensory Integration Education.

For a while, Greg stepped back from SI to complete a PhD, but in 2010, when we invited higher education institutions to tender for accreditation of our SI course, his passion for SI was reignited and he led a team to submit a bid proposing that the SI training pathway would no longer end with the award of PG Cert, but would also reach PG Diploma and Masters levels too. The bid was successful and in 2011 the MSc pathway was initiated.

Greg became the Course Director of the MSc in SI Pathway at Ulster University, supporting students from all over the world, to complete university-accredited SI training. The MSc pathway, now accredited by Sheffield Hallam University, is the only one of its kind, attracting students worldwide. Greg is an outstanding pioneer, innovator and change-maker for SI in the UK, Ireland and beyond and we look forward to his continued association with Sensory Integration Education.

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