Dr Mary Wickenden teaches and researches about disability at the Institute for Global Health at University College London. Her original disciplinary background is as a speech and language therapist (SLT). She worked for some years in the UKNHS and in India with disabled children and their families, moving subsequently into academia teaching undergraduate and postgraduate SLTs. She subsequently broadened her interests to cultural and social aspects of disabled people’s lives, training as a medical anthropologist specialising in disability.
Her research interests are in qualitative research, specifically participatory and action research methods for exploring the lives of disabled people, focusing on low and middle income settings where this population are particularly excluded. She has worked extensively in India, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Malawi, as well as on shorter consultancy projects in countries. She is also involved in some small scale disability activism and activity in the UK in relation to families who have disabled children and disability inclusive arts.
Her current particular research interests are in Community Based Rehabilitation/Inclusive Development: how it is conceptualised and how it can be evaluated, disabled children’s perspectives, the relationship between disability and poverty, sexual abuse and gender based violence of disabled people, links between Early Child Development and disability, conceptualisations of autism cross-culturally and in developing collaborations across sectors for example between academic, NGOs and DPOs.
Mary is a member of a number of international advisory groups and boards in relation to disability, children and child development.