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Keynote Speakers

International Association of Special Education

17th Biennial Conference in July 10-14 2022, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

In Collaboration with

Ho Chi Minh City University of Education

“Building an Inclusive Culture Worldwide"

Culturally-Sensitive and Trauma-Informed Education Practices


Students bring their whole selves into the classroom. We can best serve students when we address their whole being, including their multicultural backgrounds and psychosocial contexts. Understanding students’ contexts includes acknowledgement of their traumas, whether historical, transgenerational, interpersonal, or systems-based. Our cultivation of such awareness is necessary to foster student growth and inclusivity. By doing so, we may tailor our lessons and our communication modes to better meet individual and collective student needs. Through culturally-sensitive and trauma-informed education practices, we may extinguish the potential of our schools and classrooms perpetuating systems of oppression and marginalization.

This presentation aims to increase understanding of: (1a) the impacts of trauma as well as cultural and multiple marginalization on student learning, (1b) how to recognize subtle cues of how such impacts may be recognized in the classroom; (2a) theoretical models of multicultural orientations and trauma-informed practices, (2b) applications of such practices in the classroom.

Speaker’s Background: 

Viann Nam-Phương Nguyễn-Feng, PhD, MPH, LP is a counseling psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She serves as core faculty in the counseling/clinical master’s program and directs the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab, where her research focuses on increasing access to holistic, trauma-informed mental healthcare among in-need community groups. Dr. Nguyễn-Feng was raised by Vietnam War Veteran/refugee parents in Alexandria, Virginia, eight miles from the United States capital. For more information, please visit https://MindBodyTrauma.Care 

Dr. Viann Nam-Phương Nguyễn-Feng

Special Education Beyond The Classroom


Dr. Borromeo will discuss how special education extends to learning outside the classroom. She will explain how special education is supplemented within a community that is most vulnerable and challenged. She will speak from a perspective of working with students in a natural setting that develops and hones their skills and talents towards a fulfilled and productive life.

Speaker’s Background: 

Dr. Borromeo holds a Masters degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Mild-Moderate Disabilities focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a Doctorate Degree in Management and Organizational Leadership. She is the co-founder and president of the Autism Hearts Foundation (AHF), a nonprofit organization that hopes to maximize the potential of persons with ASD; a mission that is personal to her as a grandmother of a child with autism.


Dr. Borromeo’s successful and current global autism advocacy involvement and experiences with United Nations (New York), World Health Organization (WHO, Geneva), and Autism Speaks (New York), brings to her global partners the aspirations of autism - challenged Filipino families for "better lives", while bringing back to the families the current knowledge, education and research, state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment and therapies, programs, services and resources stemming from these global partnerships. Thus, Leading, Empowering and Inspiring Individuals with Autism reach their highest potentials.

Re. Erlinda P. Borromeo, D.M.

Knowledge of Vietnamese Special Education and Psychology Faculty towards Specific Learning Disability


There has been an increasing understanding in Vietnam about learning disability as a specific impairment that negatively impacts students’ performance in school in spite their backgrounds, attitudes or effort in learning. However, belief and perception related to specific learning disability continues to be limited and uneven among university faculty in special education and psychology departments in Vietnam. This limitation, therefore, may adversely affect the training especially future teachers and psychologists. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine these trainers' knowledge about nature and characteristics, assessment and diagnosis, services delivery and intervention of specific learning disability. Knowledge gap analysis was conducted to identify areas that need improvements.

Speaker’s Background: 

Dr. Phuong N. Le received his M.A in Educational and School Psychology from California State University, Long Beach and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Psychology from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Le has over 18 years of experience as an educational psychologist for major school districts in California, USA, where he was responsible for evaluation, counseling, and delivering interventions for students with disorders and disabilities from K-12 students. He was also an adjunct faculty in the graduate school psychology and counseling programs at California State University, Long Beach and Chapman University. In private practice, Dr. Le provides counseling and psychotherapy services to clients at all ages with mood disorders, which include stress, anxiety, depression, and especially complex trauma. He spphecializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brief Solution-Focused Therapy, and Somatic Experiencing.

Dr. Le was also the co-founder and later the President of the Consortium to Advance School Psychology - International (CASP-I), of which aim is to bring school psychology as both a discipline and profession to Vietnam. For this effort, he received the inaugural Outstanding International School Psychology Practice Award from the International School Psychology Association in 2011 and later became a Fulbright Specialist of the U.S. State Department from 2014 to 2019. The organization was successful to campaign for the issuance of the MOET’s 31/2017 and later for the graduate school psychology program at the Hanoi National University of Education and school counseling program at the University of Education of the Vietnam National University.

In 2017, Dr. Le chose to come back to Vietnam to actively participate in the beginning but dynamic field of psychology in the country. Dr. Le’s two-volume “Raising Children in Confusion” was the best seller and he was the recipient of the Best Book Award in Vietnam in the year 2018. Currently he works as freelanced public speaker, trainer, and writer in psychology and education.

Dr. Phuong N. Le





Since inclusive education was introduced in Vietnam nearly 30 years ago, the quality of education for children with disabilities has been continuously improved. Many factors have contributed to these positive change included the key one of the construction and operation of the inclusive education management system. The article addresses the primary achievements in inclusive education management and at the same time points out the problems and shortcomings in this system, from which proposing a number of measures to enhance the quality of inclusive education for children with disabilities in Vietnam.

Speaker’s Background: 

Nga Hoang Hoang Thi Nga is a lecturer at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education and has been in charge of the Special Education Department since 2014. She holds B.Ed. degrees in

Elementary Education and in Special Education as well. She received her M.Ed. in Special Education and Ph.D. in Educational Management related to Special Education. Her research focused on promoting the quality of education for children with visual impairment in Vietnam.

She is a key person to develop many training programs in the field of special education. Her interest, currently and near future, is improving the early intervention service for children with developmental disabilities, evidence-based teaching and promoting the inclusive education for children with disabilities in Viet Nam.

Nga Hoang

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