Research Queen's University Canada

Heather Aldersey

Heather Aldersey

Support for people with disabilities and their families: this research will identify needs of families affected by disability and develop and evaluate supports available to meet those needs, with a focus on populations in low- and middle- income countries. 

[Heather Aldersey]
Canada Research Chair in Disability-Inclusive Development
Tier 2

Local Strengths for Global Impact

People with disabilities are often marginalized and are at risk of exclusion from mainstream society. Dr. Heather Aldersey, Canada Research Chair in Disability-Inclusive Development, seeks to identify needs of families affected by disability to then develop and evaluate supports to meet those needs, with a particular focus in low- and middle- income countries. Her research program focuses on the social construction of disability across cultures, support for people with disabilities and their families, public policy, family innovation, and family quality of life.

Given the community-embedded nature of Aldersey’s research, she strives to integrate social justice and scholarship by undertaking participatory action research (PAR). PAR seeks to understand the world by working to change it, collaboratively and reflectively. Aldersey through her research engages representatives of stakeholder communities in a participatory role that further ensures integration of strengths-based, culturally-relevant, and solutions-driven action.

This approach inverts the traditional top-down methods employed in many research projects, allowing Aldersey to work alongside communities to identify research questions important to them. The ultimate goal of Aldersey’s research is to draw upon local strengths and capabilities to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families globally.