Meet the faculty and teaching assistants for DSROI 2023

Niluka Gunawardena

Modules 1 and 2

A person with shoulder length hair and dark skin,  wearing a multicolored saree and dangling earrings. The person is smiling.

Niluka Gunawardena, is an educator, researcher and disability rights advocate based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Kelaniya and a curriculum developer at the University of Colombo. She has a MA in Disability and Gender from the University of Leeds, UK. She serves on the Board of Women Enabled International and the advisory panels of ARROW, LIRNEasia and HYPE Sri Lanka. Niluka is an alumnus of DSROI 2011 and has been on the DSROI teaching team since 2019. She has worked as a disability consultant/ trainer for a range of organizations including CREA, UAF, WFA, MAS and IFES among others.

Nelly Bassiliy

Module 1

A bespectacled person wearing a blue tank-top , a beaded necklace and blue earrings in the shape of Africa. The person is smiling, and has curly hair.

Nelly Bassily is a queer disability justice advocate and intersectional feminist, anti-racism and sexual rights activist, and media maker with over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Egyptian of origin but born in Tiotià’ke (so-called Montreal), immigration, diaspora, and identity also inform her activism. In 2021, she received the Top 25 Women of Influence award. Her biggest and most important challenge to date is being the mother of 2-year-old baby girl whom she loves with all her heart!

Shamim Salim

Module 2

I'm a light skin black woman, wearing a purple flowered dress with a matching head scarf tied around my head. I'm seating down with my hand on my head, behind me is a white curtain

Shamim (pronouns: She|Her|Herz) is a young Queer Muslim disabled feminist and a human rights activist. She is an intersectional feminist and continuously create spaces for young women, women with disabilities, lesbians, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTIQ+) persons. Shamim’s work is centered on sexuality, religion and disability justice. Shamim is the founder of henna space; an organizing for Queer Muslim Women and Queer Disabled folks creating visibility and advocacy on the intersectionality sexuality, religion and disability. Shamim’s work on disability justice is centered on bodily autonomy and integrity; and that disabled folks are diverse, living and affected by different forms of marginalization. She is also a champion for inclusive and affirming faith spaces. Shamim is also invested in resource young feminist organizing to support their work on pushing back on repressive systems.

Sonaksha Iyengar

Module 2

A person wearing an indigo printed halter top. They have blue-purple eyeshadow and lipstick on. They are wearing blue tassel earrings and have their hair in a top knot bun. There is an illustrated background behind them in yellow with swirls of yellow, pink and blue rising from them.

Sonaksha is a fat, queer, chronically ill and disabled illustrator, graphic recorder and book designer. They use art to participate in building social justice movements, and work with organizations defending human rights and the environment. Sonaksha is currently dreaming and drawing about disability justice, care, fat liberation and queerness while living in Bangalore, where they are often found in the aisles of bookstores, or eating paint. You can find their work on

Phyllis Mbeke Ndolo

Module 3

A bespectacled person wearing a yellow dress with brown patterns and blue glasses..The person has braided short hair. The person is wearing a yellow neck piece with multi-colored blocks of red, white, green and orange colors. The person is smiling and wearing red lipstick.

Phylis Mbeke is the Executive Director at Women spaces Africa (A feminist disability-led organization working on access to information and services on SRHR). She has been working with the grassroots movement on advocacy for sexual reproductive health and rights for the past fourteen years. Her work is centered on promoting the inclusive participation of girls and women with disabilities in programming, taking cognizance of their double marginalization that arises out of gender and Disability stereotypes. She believes the community lens is crucial for policymakers and is a diver to regional and international conventions.

Dwi Ariyani

Module 3

A bespectacled person wearing a multi coloured dress with blue, black, white and red blocks. The person is wearing a pastel blue hijab and is smiling. There is a blurry tree in the background.

Dwi Ariyani is the Regional Head of Programs-Asia for the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. Dwi is a disability rights activist. Dwi has worked for over twenty years in Indonesia on disability rights and movement building. She has worked with grassroots and national organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) to promote persons with disabilities rights and provide technical assistance for OPDs and work with them to achieve their advocacy agenda through; legislation reform and budgetary advocacy, building a bridge across the movement. As a woman with a disability herself, Dwi has also advocated for the empowerment of women with disabilities and ensures that women with disabilities are heard in every decision-making process that affects women's lives. She received the 2020 Women of Distinction Award- NGO CSW New York

Jeeja Ghosh

Module 4

A person with short hair wearing a green shirt with flowers printed on it. The person is wearing long gold earrings.

Jeeja Ghosh is a disability and gender rights activist. She has been associated with gender rights organizations like TARSHI and CREA. She now works with EnAble India in Bangalore.

Shampa Sengupta

Module 4

A bespectacled person wearing a cream coloured kurti with black and red shawl. The person is smiling. There is a blue backdrop in the background.

Shampa Sengupta is a Disability & Gender Rights activist working in this sector for over three decades. She is also Founder Director of an advocacy group called Sruti Disability Rights Centre.

Nidhi Goyal

Module 5

A person with long black hair, wearing a grey black saree with a full-sleeve blouse and a beaded necklace. The person is standing in a lawn, facing the camera, holding a black cane in their right hand infront of them. Green trees and the sky are visible in the background.

Nidhi Ashok Goyal is the founder and executive director of the leading Award-winning non-profit organisation Rising Flame, working for the leadership and rights of women, youth, and persons with disabilities in India. She has been working on disability rights and gender justice for the past 12 years at the national, regional, and global levels through research, writing, policy influence, and art.

She was instrumental in establishing a separate focussed space for disability in the Civil 20 process in G20's presidency of India, where she worked across 20 + countries to mainstream persons with disabilities and was the youngest and the only disabled person on the steering committee of Civil 20 an official engagement group of G20.

She serves on the core group of persons with disabilities by the National Human Rights Commission India, has been invited on the diversity and inclusion task force of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is the governing body member of ADD India, and sits on the advisory board of Voice- a grant-making project by the Dutch ministry. She has led multistakeholder and cross-movement work, influenced policies and systems, and authored groundbreaking research, all with a vision to foster inclusion of women and youth with disabilities within India and globally across four continents and in over 20 countries. She has steered a leading global women's rights organisation – AWID- as the youngest and first-ever disabled president and made huge strides in inclusion as the former global advisor to UN Women's Executive Director. Her leadership and work have been appreciated and awarded by the government of India, Indira University, the National Association for the Blind, ABP News and Sur Optimist Mumbai, amongst others. Her journey and successes have been written about and covered in National and global media. Lastly, she is India's first female disabled comedian, using humour to challenge popular misconceptions of gender and disability. You can follow her work @saysnidhigoyal.

Srinidhi Raghavan

Module 5

A bespectacled person with short  hair. The person is wearing a magenta kurti and has a forest illustrated background with yellow sky, white clouds and scattered trees. The person is smiling.

Srinidhi is a disabled feminist, researcher, educator and writer. She works at the intersections of sexuality, gender, disability and technology. She supported the coordination of Feminist Internet Research Network’s research undertaken between 2022 and 2023. She is co-lead, programmes at a feminist-disability rights organisation, Rising Flame. Her work for the past 12 years has focused on deepening conversations around sexuality, on understanding how technology and accessibility intersect, on imagining a feminist internet, on rights of persons with disabilities, and building more spaces where disabled people can thrive. She has conducted trainings, undertaken and coordinated feminist research and built programmes on sexuality, leadership, digital access, security and usage, violence against women with disabilities, sexual and reproductive health, and media representation of children and disabled people.

Agness Chindimba

Module 6

A bespectacled person wearing a cream color dress with a brown and black block design.  The person is looking at the camera and smiling with her hand on her chin. There are yellow flowers and a playground in the background.

Agness Chindimba, is a feminist, women rights and disability rights advocate with over 15 years working with girls and women with disabilities on GBV/SRHR and Disability Justice. She is passionate about issues affecting  women and girls with disabilities in the Global South. Her work has earned her the Gender Champions award from the Dutch Embassy in Harare, an alumni of the prestigious DSROI offered by CREA and the Mandela  Washington Fellowship, YALI- Young Africa Leaders Initiative of President Barrack Obama. Agness enjoys researching on the intersections of disability, and gender and has published with the likes of Routledge as a contributor to book chapters.

Janet Price

Arts Component Curator and Module 6

A bespectacled person wearing a pastel striped shirt and gray shorts. The person is sitting in a wheelchair, with woods in the background. The person has short gray hair and brown glasses, and is smiling.

Janet Price is an activist, artist and part-time academic, who works at the intersection of disability, sexuality, and gender, addressing queer/crip interconnections and pain/relief in the self & world. In partnership with many others from Nigeria, India, Kenya, and Australia, amongst others, she has been involved in initiating and co-convening DSROI since 2010. She was on the Board of Disability and Deaf Arts (DaDa), Liverpool which holds a biennial International Festival, DaDaFest, and she continues to be actively involved in Disability/Deaf Arts.

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