I have had a varied educational experience. Prior to joining Keele, I studied English Literature at the University of St. Andrews for 4 years. Being the only permanent wheelchair user on campus during that time gave me an insight into the challenges facing students with disabilities, which has greatly influenced my current research interests. In 2011, I first came to Keele and completed the CPE, where I began to consider the rights of people with disabilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in terms of access to goods and services. I then undertook a Masters programme in Law and Society at Keele and my dissertation was based on the barriers facing persons with disabilities in relation to access to public transport. In my dissertation, I considered the appropriateness of maintaining the notions of ‘reasonable adjustment’ and ‘undue burden’ in the rights focused dialogue created by the CRPD. In September 2014, I presented a paper based on this research project at the Lancaster CeDR Disability Studies Conference. In September 2014, I returned to Keele to undertake a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr Eliza Varney and Professor Anthony Bradney. My PhD considers the barriers facing students with disabilities to participation in legal education.

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • Seminar Leader on Disability and Human Rights on Tom's Human Rights Masters Module
  • Tutorial Teacher on Torts 2

Abi has also taught a Disability centred session on Michael Fay's Schools and Colleges Outreach programme where the group looked at issues relating to access to transport and equality for people with disabilities.

Abi is happy to supervise projects concerning disability, equality, human rights, legal education.

Pearson A, Little C and Gimblett, K 'Changing Places to design spaces that do more
than tick boxes: A template for immersive Disability Awareness Training for HE Staff,' Society for Research Into Higher Education Newer & Early Career Researchers Conference 10th December 2019 Coldra Court, Newport, Wales, UK
Pearson A, 'The potential role of undergraduate liberal law schools in making ‘jam tomorrow’: Learning from disability, creating Proactive Critical Citizens to address vulnerability in law schools and society.' Vulnerability and the Organisation of Academic Labour  Saturday 26 October 2019 Nottingham Trent University

PearsonA.V., 'The debate about wheelchair spaces on buses goes ‘round and round’: access to public transport for people with disabilities as a human right' [2018] 69 (Spring)(1) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 1-18

Pearson A.V., "What's worth got to do with it? Language and the socio-legal advancement of disability rights and equality", (2014) 20(3) Web JCLI.

A V Pearson, 'Reasonable Adjustment: The Golden Goose or The Cuckoo in the nest of equality?' (The Lancaster disability studies conference, Lancaster University, Tuesday 9th September 2014).

'Educating Rita (and everybody else too): A case study of the accessibility of undergraduate legal education for persons with disabilities accessing legal education in England'  - A conference paper delivered at the School of Law Annual Postgraduate Research Conference at University of Manchester on 21/10/15.

Research grants

In March 2019 Abi was awarded a SEDA developing research grant for a project with collegaues in KIITE, Dr Chris Little and Karl Gimblet, tto design an immersive disability equality training programme to assist colleagues and the wider sector in meeting our obligations under the Equality Act, through inclusive teaching practices.