Barbara Rissman

Barbara's research explored the learning experiences of students with hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and an Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD) profile in mainstream Australian schools. Research was inspired by her daughter's – who was born with an Encephalocele, a neural tube defect estimated to occur in 2-3/10,000 live births – 12-year journey through school. Barbara currently works at Australia’s Queensland University of Technology as a Sessional Academic, Equity Project Officer, past tutor and unit coordinator. Her immediate goal is to raise awareness of NLD among educational, medical, and allied health practitioners to prevent serious emotional, developmental, and educational implications occurring if the NLD is not identified early and managed.


  • 2007–present
    Sessional academic, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2007–present
    Equity Project Officer, Queensland University of Technology


  • 2007 
    Queensland University of Technology, PhD
  • 2002 
    Queensland University of Technology, MEd (Leadership and Management)
  • 2001 
    Queensland University of Technology, BEd (Adult & Workplace)
  • 1995 
    Australian Music Examinations Board, AMusA (Organ)
  • 1993 
    Australian Yamaha Music Foundation, AYMF (Piano)
  • 1991 
    Australian Yamaha Music Foundation, AYMF (Organ)
  • 1989 
    Trinity College of London, ATCL (Tchr)


  • 2016
    Medical and Educational Perspectives on Nonverbal Learning Disability in Children and Young Adults, Hershey, PA: IGI Global
  • 2013
    Widening Participation in University Learning, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice
  • 2012
    Educational markets in space: gamekeeping professionals across Australian communities, Journal of Education Policy, 1-32
  • 2010
    Nonverbal Learning Disability explained: the link to shunted hydrocephalus, British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39, 209-215
  • 2010
    The QUTeach@Redcliffe program, Curriculum Leadership, 19 March 2010