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Professor Patricia O’Brien

In 2009 Patricia returned to Australia from Trinity College Dublin to take up the position of Chair in Disability Studies and Director, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney.

At Trinity College Patricia was the Foundation Director, National Institute for Intellectual Disability where her work supported a mission of Inclusion through Education, Research and Advocacy. She attracted several research and development grants that focused on inclusive research, involving people with disability and family members. Prior to Ireland, Patricia worked at the University of Auckland where she taught both graduate and post graduate courses in human services and special education. Patricia has co-edited two books that promote disability services as value driven and person centred organisations.

Since taking up the position at the Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) Patricia has led a team of researchers, educators and clinicians in implementing the vision of the organisation, Building Capacity for Change. At CDS Patricia promotes research that is inclusive of people with disabilities as co-researchers, as well as the promotion of access to tertiary education for students with intellectual disabilities. Over the last three years the University of Sydney through the work of CDS has welcomed a group of students with intellectual disability to audit university papers of interest.

Patricia’s research interests cover advocacy, deinstitutionalisation, community participation, transition, inclusive research and education, and more recently through an ARC Linkage grant in partnership with Curtin and Deakin universities, individual supported living (ISL) arrangements.

Qualifications:

BA (Monash University), MEd in Special Education (University of Oregon), PhD (University of Queensland)

Research:

Patricia’s research interests cover advocacy, deinstitutionalisation, community participation, transition, inclusive research and education, and more recently through an ARC Linkage grant in partnership with Curtin and Deakin universities, individual supported living (ISL) arrangements.

Examples of research grants (from the past 5 years)

  1. 2015 CDS Research & Workforce Development Statewide, ADHC, with Emma Doukakis ( CDS) and the inclusive Research Network.
  2. 2015 Evaluation of the NDIS: NSW Qualitative component as part of Australia wide study lead by NILS Flinders University:
  3. 2015 The development and implementation of a framework for evaluating organizational person-centredness by people with intellectual disability: an inclusive research approach. Endeavour Foundation Grant with Dr. Marie Knox and the inclusive Research Network
  4. 2014 Stepping On Facilitator Training Project Evaluation in area of falls presentation with Timothy Hart (CDS) and Megan Swan.
  5. 2014 Evaluation of NDIS: Engagement Strategy Qualitative component as part of Australia wide study lead by NILS Flinders University with Friederike Gadow, Meaghan Edwards, and Sam Arnold (CDS)
  6. 2014 Quality of life devolution study, ADHC funded with Laurel Draffin (Matrix on Baord, Friederike Gadow, Sam Arnold, Meaghan Edwards, Tanya Riches, Marie Knox and Jemima Mac Donald.
  7. 2013 Evaluation report on the Developmental Psychiatry Clinic: A Partnership between The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Statewide Behaviour Intervention Service (ADHC), with Professor Vivienne Riches, Sam Arnold and Deborah Espiner.
Indicative Publications:
  1. O’Brien, P., & Sullivan, M. (2005). Allies in emancipation: Moving from providing service to being of support . South Melbourne: Thomson Dunmore (pp. 1- 236)
  2. O'Brien, P., & Murray, R. (1997, 2008). (Eds). Human services: Towards partnership and support. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press (pp.1-372)

Book Chapters

  1. Thesing, A. & O’Brien, P. (2008). Quality indicators for alternative education programmes. In C. Rubie-Davies and C. Rawlinson, Challenging thinking about teaching and learning (pp. 167 - 168 ) : Nova Science publishers
  2. O’Brien, P., Newell, C., & Mc Inerery, I. with Thesing A. (2005). In I. Dempsey & K. Nankervis, Community Disability Services : An Evidence–Based Approach to Practice (pp. 27-50). Sydney: University of NSW Press
  3. O’Brien, P. (2005). Haki’s story. In K. Johnson & R. Traustadottir, Deinstitutionalization & people with learning disabilities (pp. 231- 239).London: Jessica Kingsley
  4. O’’Brien, P., & Ryba, K. (2005). Policies and practices in special education. In D. Fraser, R. Moltzen & K. Ryba (Eds.) Learners with Special Needs in Aotearoa/New Zealand (3rd ed.) (pp. 22-48). Southbank, Victoria : Thomson Dunmore
  5. O’Brien, P., Thesing, A., & Capie, A. (2005). Supporting people out of one institution while avoiding another. In P. O’Brien & M. Sullivan, Allies in emancipation: Moving from providing service to being of support (pp. 135- 150). Victoria: Thomson Dunmore
  6. Ferguson, P., & O’Brien, P. (2005). From giving service to being of service. In P. O’Brien & M. Sullivan, Allies in emancipation: Moving from providing service to being of support (pp. 3-18). Victoria: Thomson Dunmore
  7. Sullivan, M., & O’Brien, P. (2005). Being of support-a final reflection. In P. O’Brien & M. Sullivan, Allies in emancipation: Moving from providing service to being of support (pp. 213-218). Victoria: Thomson Dunmore
  8. Kane, R.. Alcorn, N., Bishop, R., Cardno, C., Crooks, T., Fairburn-Dunlop, P., Hattie, J., Jones, A., O’Brien, P., & Stevenson, J. (2005). Working smarter with electronic evidence portfolios: lessons from the 2003 PBRF assessment exercise. In R. Smith & J. Jesson, Punishing the discipline-the PBRF regime evaluating the position for Education-where to from here? (pp. 164-171). AUT: University of Auckland

Journal articles

  1. Cocks E., Thoresen, S., O’Brien, P. Mc Villy, K., Thomson, A., Gadow, F., Crosbie, J., & Prain, M. (2016) A quality framework for personalised residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities DOI: 10.1177/1744629516629854
  2. Garcia Iriarte, E., O’Brien, & Chadwick, D. (2014) Involving people with intellectual disabilities within research teams: lessons learned from an Irish experience. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual disabilities. 11(2),149-157.
  3. Garcia Iriarte, E., O’Brien, P., Mc Conkey, R., Wolfe, M., & O’Doherty, S. (2014) Identifying the key concerns of Irish persons with intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability,: 10.1111/jar.12009
  4. O’Brien, P., Garcia, E., & Mac Conkey, R. (2014) Co-researching with people who have intellectual disabilities: Insights from a national survey. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability 27, 65–75
  5. Garcia Iriarte, E., O’Brien, & Chadwick, D. (2014) Involving people with intellectual disabilities within research teams: lessons learned from an Irish experience. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual disabilities. 11(2),149-157.
  6. Garcia Iriarte, E., O’Brien, P., Mc Conkey, R., Wolfe, M., & O’Doherty, S. (2014) Identifying the key concerns of Irish persons with intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability,: 10.1111/jar.12009
  7. O’Brien, P., Garcia, E., & Mac Conkey, R. (2014) Co-researching with people who have intellectual disabilities: Insights from a national survey. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability 27, 65–75
  8. O'Connor, B., Kubiak, J., Espiner, D., & O'Brien, P. (2012). Lecturer responses to the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities auditing undergraduate classes. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 9, 247–256.
  9. Mannan, H., O'Brien, P., McConkey, R., Finlay, F., Lawlor, A., Harrington, G. (2011). . Complexities in the Provision of Respite Care to Family Carers of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development. 22 (2), 2, 38-54.
  10. O’Brien, P., Shevlin, M., O’Keeffe, M., FitzGerald, S., Curtis, S., & M. (2009). Opening up a whole new world for students with intellectual disabilities within third level setting British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37 (4) 285 292
  11. O’Brien, P., Hamilton, c., & Johnson, K. (2009). Editorial, British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37 (4) 241
  12. Johnson, K., O’Brien, P., & Hamilton. C. (2009) In conversation with Bill Roberts, Paul Alford and Marie Wolfe. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37 (4) 242- 244
  13. O’Brien, P. (2003). Envisioning the future without the social alienation of difference. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 50(1), 22-39.
  14. O'Brien, P., Thesing, A., Tuck, B., & Capie, A. (2001). Perceptions of change, advantage and quality of life for people with intellectual disability who left a long stay institution to live in the community. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 26(1), 67-82.
Teaching
  • Over the years teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels have covered areas that included Sociology of Disability; Disability Studies, inclusive education Inclusive communities ; Human Management Strategies ; Quality of life.
  • Within the Diploma and Certificate programmes at CDS modules on Person Centred thinking and practice are delivered as well as training within educative packages that focus on person centred practice leadership, facilitation, as well as social and community networking and the NDIS.
PhD supervision

Supervision for students enrolled through Sydney Medical School have covered areas, such as, Quality of Life; United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities; Political participation; Art making and Transition into Adulthood.

 

 

 

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