I am Lecturer in Social Policy, School of Applied Social Studies, and Director of ISS21 (Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century), UCC’s interdisciplinary social sciences institute. I began my academic career in urban and cultural geography at Royal Holloway, University of London (having studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of Nottingham), and completed my doctorate on the involvement of disabled people in urban regeneration programmes in the UK. After completing my PhD in 2000, I worked for three years in applied social policy research, firstly at the Disability Rights Commission and then at the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK, before joining UCC in 2004.
I am an interdisciplinary scholar whose work sits at the intersection of geography, social policy and disability studies, and focuses around three main areas (i) disability, socio-spatial in/justice and citizenship rights (ii) urban geographies and urban policy processes (iii) the politics and governance of knowledge production. I am interested in understanding the socio-political processes which shape how disability is understood and ‘governed’ in Western societies, and the implications for disabled people’s everyday lives in terms of socio-spatial justice and rights to equal citizenship.
I have received research funding from a range of agencies, including the National Disability Authority, Irish Research Council, EU 7th Framework programme, and the EU GENDER-NET programme, and have been involved in projects on disabled people's access to justice as victims of crime, everyday geographies of safety and unsafety, and issues of Universal Design in relation to children's playspaces. I've published widely across these area; my most recent publication is a co-edited co-edited collection (with Eluska Fernandez) entitled Reframing Health and Health Policy in Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2017), which explores the dynamics of Irish health policy.