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.
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.
In 2020, Abi was awarded Funding from The Keele Institute for Social Inclusion (KISI) to hold an Academics and Stakeholders Event in Collaboration with Dr Miro Griffiths from Leeds.
The Perspective Collective, opening a window onto rights and reality: hearing and recording experiences of disability rights to shape future responses'
Inviting key speakers with from a variety of institutions and backgrounds would further KISI’s strategic objectives of cross institutional and interdisciplinary work to address issues around representation of previously marginalized communities, to tackle social and political inequalities. The proposed activities fit well within KISI’s overall themes and objectives as well as within the mission statement to achieve a greater degree of social inclusion through interdisciplinary research and internationally and nationally important projects which have an effect both domestically and internationally. Forging links with the Centre for Disability Studies as Leeds University and the relationship that this will open up with colleagues both nationally and internationally offers an opportunity to place both Keele and KISI on the international stage in relation to work concerning the advancement of the rights of Disabled People.
1) Archives, scholactvism and disability and the role of the academy in increasing representation
2) Disability and Participation (Social, Legal and political)
3) Digital ethics (including inclusive design and empowerment)
4) Storytelling and emancipatory research