Our Research Team

Our Research Team

Gail Teachman, Director, Occupational Therapist & Researcher

Dr. Gail Teachman is the Director of the CRED Research Lab. She is an Assistant Professor at Western University’s School of Occupational Therapy where her research is focused on examining the social, ethical and political contexts that shape how childhood disability is understood and acted on, with a view to expanding possibilities for children identified as disabled to flourish. Dr. Teachman’s research is informed by critical disability studies, childhood ethics, critical social theory and occupational science perspectives. She is committed to ensuring that CRED research contributes knowledge that has been directly informed by children’s perspectives on living with disabilities so that their views can be given due weight in the design of programs and services that directly impact their lives. In order to advance knowledge of the participation, inclusion and occupations of disabled children and youth and improve understandings of how their lives, identities, and moral experiences are influenced by rehabilitation practices, Dr. Teachman is developing innovative participatory research approaches.  

Dr. Teachman is a member of Western’s Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion (CRHESI), a Core Member of McGill University’s VOICE team (Views on Interdisciplinary Childhood Ethics), and an Academic Fellow with University of Toronto’s Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research. 

Current trainees

Rachel Reparon is a PhD candidate in her third year of the combined Masters of Occupational Therapy and PhD in Occupational Science (MScOT/PhD) program. Rachel completed her undergraduate degree with a double major in Disability Studies and Family Studies and Human Development. Rachel is passionate about understanding disability within social contexts and the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities. Her research focuses on young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, occupational possibilities, and social participation using critical qualitative approaches. Rachel is also passionate about and prioritizes spending time outside, visiting friends and family, travelling, and spending time with animals. 

Rachel is the current Research Assistant at CRED Research, you can reach her at: rreparon@uwo.ca

Selected publications:

Reparon, R., Block, P., Fudge Schormans, A., Laliberte Rudman, D., & Teachman, G. (2024). Critiquing representations of intellectual disability in occupation-based literature. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 31(1), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/11038128.2023.2289897 (access it here)

Linda Zhang is an MSc Student in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Western University in the Occupational Sciences Field. She completed her undergraduate in Health and Society with a concentration in Psychology at the University of Calgary. Her previous research experiences have been in pediatric health and research outcomes. For her thesis work, she is interested in exploring the experiences of disabled children and youth from immigrant backgrounds, looking to incorporate a critical disability perspective to her research.

Meredith Dash is enrolled in the combined MSc/PhD program at Western. She has completed the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MScOT) and is now a registered OT. Meredith is also a PhD candidate in the Occupational Science stream under the co-supervision of Dr. Gail Teachman and Dr. Debbie Rudman. Her previous work and life experiences have led her to the profession of Occupational Therapy and believes that occupation is a human right. To expand on this understanding, her research is critically focused and attempts to understand broader systemic barriers to occupational engagement. Her current research is based on fathers of children with autism and their occupational possibilities. 

Selected Publications: 

Meredith J. Dash, Yani Hamdani, Debbie Laliberte Rudman & Gail Teachman (2023) Representations of parenting autistic children: A critical interpretive synthesis, Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/11038128.2023.2210802

Dr. Katie Mah is a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow in the CRED (Childhood Rehabilitation Ethics & Disability Research) Lab at Western University and the NOvEL (Neurorehab Outcomes via Education & Learning) Lab at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Her research is also funded by VOICE (Views on Interdisciplinary Childhood Ethics) at McGill University. She is a critical qualitative health researcher in the emerging field of Critical Rehabilitation Studies. Employing critical qualitative and arts-based methodologies, Katie’s current work explores how concussion ‘recovery’ is discursively understood by young people. Drawing on her background in nursing and occupational therapy, as well as her lived experience of concussion, Katie’s research aims to disrupt conventional ways of thinking and knowing about concussion and young people, while challenging clinicians and researchers to (re)imagine concussion education, care, and research. For her doctoral work she was awarded a Pursuit Award by the Bloorview Research Institute (Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital) and named 2021 recipient of the highly regarded Joan Eakin Award for Methodological Excellence in a Qualitative Dissertation (Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto).

Selected Publications:

Mah K, Gladstone BM, Cameron D, & Reed N. (2021). Re/producing the Pediatric Concussion Discourse in clinical rehabilitation practice. Disability & Rehabilitation. 11:1-11. Advance online publication.

Mah K, Gladstone BM, Cameron D, & Reed N. (2021). Thinking otherwise: Bringing young people into pediatric concussion clinical and research practice. Brain Impairment. 23(1): 104-117. 

Mah K, Gladstone B, King G, Reed N, Hartman LR. (2019). Researching experiences of childhood brain injury: Co-constructing knowledge through arts-based research methods. Disability & Rehabilitation. 42(20): 2967-2976.

Agnes Anna Mathew is a second-year PhD student in the Occupational Science program. She completed her undergraduate and Master’s degree in Occupational therapy in India, where she also worked with children with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Her zealousness to understand the experiences of children with disabilities and chronic illnesses beyond the walls of a clinic and to facilitate their inclusion in various social contexts drove her to pursue a higher degree in research. Informed by critical Occupational Science perspectives, she also intends to bridge the gap between Western-centric models of practice and the Global South contexts. Currently, her focus is on research with children with cancer in India.

Past trainees

Emily Cox completed her graduate training in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in Summer 2022. For her thesis, she conducted a critical discourse analysis of conceptualizations of childhood disability in children’s rehabilitation. This study involved interviews with children’s rehabilitation practitioners, as well as analysis of websites and peer-reviewed literature.

Upon completing her graduate studies started in a role at the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital where she continues to engage in disability focused qualitative research. Emily also continued to support CRED Lab activities in a Post-Graduate Research Assistant position, until August 2023 when she began working full-time at Holland Bloorview.

 

Thesis: Reframing childhood disability: Pushing boundaries in the rehabilitation sciences 

 

Kristina Ferreira is a past graduate student trainee at CRED Research. In Summer 2022 she completed her thesis in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences through the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. Drawing on her lived experience of chronic pain in her adolescence and young adulthood, her project examined young children’s experiences of chronic pain and coping using art-based elicitation methods coupled with semi-structured interviews. Kristina was co-supervised by Dr. Gail Teachman and Dr. Dave Walton throughout this project. 

Prior to joining the CRED lab, Kristina completed her Bachelor of Medical Sciences at Western University through the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Her biomedical degree equipped her with the understanding of the basic science principles behind chronic and acute pain, which helped inform her master’s research. Now, Kristina is attending Medical School at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON., where she continues to expand her knowledge of chronic pain research and patient care. 

Thesis: Piloting a study to examine understandings of chronic pain