Natasha Spassiani
natasha spassiani

Dr Natasha Spassiani PhD, SEDA, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Honorary Advanced Research Fellow at NHS, Lead of the Knowledge to Action Research Group in Intellectual Disabilities

Lecturer

Biography

Dr. Spassiani received their B.Sc. (Hons.) and M.Sc. from York University in Kinesiology and Health Science. Dr. Spassiani received their Ph.D. (2015) in Disability Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an internationally renowned institution in the field of Disability Studies. After completing their Ph.D., Dr. Spassiani was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto in the Department of Psychiatry jointly with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health where they examined the stigma, discrimination, and social oppression that people with disabilities experience when accessing health systems.

In October 2015, Dr. Spassiani became Assistant Professor in Inclusion and Disability at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in the School of Education. During their time at TCD, they were appointed as the Director of the Trinity Center for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID), formally known as the National Institute for Intellectual Disabilities, a TCD institute dedicated to the advancement of research and education for people with intellectual disabilities.

In November 2016, Dr. Spassiani began a tenure-track appointment at Edinburgh Napier University in the School of Health and Social Care as a Lecturer and Researcher in Intellectual Disabilities, where they were hired due to their Disability Studies background and community-based research approach.

In 2022, Dr. Spassiani was appointed as research lead for The Knowledge to Action Research Group in Intellectual Disabilities, where they lead a team of interdisciplinary researchers and clinicians who study health and disability.

Dr. Spassiani's educational and professional background in Disability Studies and health bring a unique perspective in how they examine and engage in disability and health discourses through a rights and empowerment approach. Dr. Spassiani's research is dedicated to examining the interplay between disability and inclusion as it pertains to health systems, community engagement, and education using a socio-cultural lens to examine disability.

Themes

News

Esteem

Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation (Chicago, USA)

 

Conference Organising Activity

  • Member of the executive planning committee for the Scottish Learning Disability Nurse Conference (Scotland)
  • Member of the excutive planning committee for the Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) II Annual Consensus Conference (USA)
  • Member of the executive planning committee for Rectech's 2nd State of the Science Conference on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities (USA)
  • Member of the executive planning committee for the Eastern Canadian Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium (ECSEPS) (Canada)

 

Fellowships and Awards

  • British Journal of Learning Disabilities Recognition Award
  • Above & Beyond Award Nominee for Leadership at ENU
  • Edinburgh Napier Student Association Excellence Awards Nominee for Best Lecturer
  • Edinburgh Napier Student Association Excellence Awards Nominee for Best Academic Support
  • Edinburgh Napier Student Association Excellence Awards Nominee for Best Supervisor for Research
  • Above & Beyond Award for Inclusive Research, Teaching, and Community Practice (Short Listed)
  • EMERG10 Conference: First Place for Poster Presentation (UK)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK)
  • Nursing Programme of the Year Award (UK)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Psychiatry (Toronto, Canada)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Dual Diagnosis at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto, Canada)
  • PhD Student Achievement Award from the University of Illinois at Chicago (Illinois, USA)
  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Dissertation Impact Award (USA)
  • PhD Scholarship at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Illinois, USA)

 

Invited Speaker

  • Invited Speaker at the Reform of Adults with Incapacity Law: Addressing Challenges at the Centre for Mental Health Practice, Policy, and Law Research (Scotland, UK)
  • Invited Speak at the School of Nursing at Ontario Tech University (Toronto, Canada)
  • Invited Speaker at Balgreen Primary School to speak to children about disability and inclusion
  • Invited Speaker at the Manager Care Networks, Physical Activity and Inclusion Workshop (Scotland, UK)
  • Invited Speaker at the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Invited Speaker at the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Invited Speaker at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, USA)

 

Membership of Professional Body

  • The Institute of Mental Health
  • International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD)
  • Disability Health Equity Research Network
  • Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG)
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) Disability Section Leadership Team
  • Midwest Roybal Center of Health Promotion and Translation
  • Eastern Canadian Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium (ECSEPS)

 

Non-executive Directorship

  • Board Member of Get2gether (non-profit disability organization) (Scotland)
  • Chair of the Academic Council for Accessible Curriculum Development (Ireland)
  • Midwest Roybal Center of Health Promotion and Translation (USA)

 

Public/Community Engagement

  • Co-Lead of the Community Engagement Project: The Appletree Community: A narrative approach to integrated community living for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (£4250, ENU).
  • Lead of the Community Engagement Project: Our Rights, Our Community. A human rights approach to capture the lived experiences of people with learning disabilities as they meaningfully engage in the community (£5000, ENU).
  • Lead of Community Engagement Project: Fitness Centres inclusive or exclusive? Understanding how people with learning disabilities can meaningfully participate at fitness centres: Part 2 (£1500, ENU).
  • Lead of Community Engagement Project: Fitness Centres inclusive or exclusive? Understanding how people with learning disabilities can meaningfully participate at fitness centres (£4800, ENU).
  • Co-Lead of workshop: Likes, dislikes, supports and barriers: The experience of students with disabilities in university in Ireland. Trinity College Dublin.
  • Co-Lead of Public Engagement Project: Helping students with intellectual disabilities engage in STEM. Trinity College Dublin.

 

Reviewing

  • Peer Review for the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities (USA)
  • Internal Course Moderator for the Early Intervention Masters Programme at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Internal Course Moderator for The Authentic Classroom and the Hidden Curriculum at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Internal Moderator for the Bachelors of Nursing Programme (Learning Disability) at ENU (Scotland, UK)
  • Peer Reviewer for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Internal Reviewer for Rosanna Hergueta Rodriquez. Professional Masters in Education at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Internal Reviewer for Ciara McMakin. Professional Masters in Education at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Intenral Reviewer for Ruth Malone. Professional Masters in Education at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Internal Reviewer for Stephanie Bowe. Professional Masters in Education at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Internal Course Moderator for The Development of Education at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Internal Reviewer for Louise Malone. Professionals Masters in Education at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Peer Reviewer for Inclusion (USA)
  • Peer Reviewer for the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
  • Peer Reviewer for the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities (USA)

 

Visiting Positions

  • Adjunct Professor, School of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Health Professionals (Halifax, Canada)

 

Date


31 results

Community Based Dietician Services for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Journal Article
Friedman, C., & Spassiani, N. (2018)
Community Based Dietician Services for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 15(4), 343-349. https://doi.org/10.1111/jppi.12253
Background. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience significantly poorer health outcomes and a shorter life expectancy when compared to the ge...

Developing Post-Secondary Education Programmes for People with Intellectual Disablities at Trinity College, the University of Dublin, Ireland

Book Chapter
Kubiak, J., Spassiani, N., Shevlin, M., & O’Keeffe, M. (2018)
Developing Post-Secondary Education Programmes for People with Intellectual Disablities at Trinity College, the University of Dublin, Ireland. In P. O’Brien, M. L. Bonati, F. Gadow, & R. Slee (Eds.), People with Intellectual Disability Experiencing University Life: Theoretical Underpinnings, Evidence and Lived Experience (141-153). Brill Academic Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004394551_009

Wellness and Health Promotion

Book Chapter
Vasudevan, V., & Spassiani, N. (2018)
Wellness and Health Promotion. In Disability In American Life An Encyclopedia Of Concepts, Policies, and Controversies: Wellness And Health Promotion (705-708). Bloomsbury Publishing

Health Determinants

Book Chapter
Spassiani, N. (in press)
Health Determinants. In Disability In American Life: An Encyclopedia Of Concepts, Policies, and Controversies: Health Determinants (333-335). Bloomsbury Publishing

Using Photovoice as a Participatory Method to Identify and Strategize Community Participation with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Journal Article
Angell, A. M., Heffron, J. L., Spassiani, N. A., Heffron, J., Hammel, J., & Angell, A. (2018)
Using Photovoice as a Participatory Method to Identify and Strategize Community Participation with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 25(5), 382-395. https://doi.org/10.1080/11038128.2018.1502350
Background: Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) experience barriers to community participation, yet their insider experiences of environmental barri...

Examining Chronic Disease, Pain-Related Impairment, and Physical Activity Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Canada: Implications for Current and Future Aging Populations

Journal Article
Meisner, B. A., Linton, V., Séguin, A., & Spassiani, N. A. (2017)
Examining Chronic Disease, Pain-Related Impairment, and Physical Activity Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Canada: Implications for Current and Future Aging Populations. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 33(3), 182-192. https://doi.org/10.1097/tgr.0000000000000154
Purpose: With high levels of chronic disease (CD) and pain-related functional impairment (PFI), and low levels of physical activity (PA) among middle-aged and older adults, it...

Likes, dislikes, supports and barriers: the experience of students with disabilities in university in Ireland

Journal Article
Spassiani, N. A., Ó Murchadha, N., Clince, M., Biddulph, K., Conradie, P., Costello, F., …Tully, K. (2017)
Likes, dislikes, supports and barriers: the experience of students with disabilities in university in Ireland. Disability and Society, 32(6), 892-912. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2017.1320272
There are more students with disabilities going to college than ever before. It is important that colleges understand the experiences of students with disabilities when in uni...

Getting Out There: Community Support Services for People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Medicaid HCBS Waivers

Journal Article
Friedman, C., & Spassiani, N. A. (2017)
Getting Out There: Community Support Services for People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Medicaid HCBS Waivers. Inclusion, 5(1), 33-44. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-5.1.33
Despite an increased number of community-based services, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) continue to struggle with meaningful community participa...

“Why Are You Here? Can’t You Cope at Home?” The Psychiatric Crisis of People With Intellectual Disabilities and the Community’s Response

Journal Article
Spassiani, N., Abou Chacra, M. S., & Lunsky, Y. (2017)
“Why Are You Here? Can’t You Cope at Home?” The Psychiatric Crisis of People With Intellectual Disabilities and the Community’s Response. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 10(2), 74-92. https://doi.org/10.1080/19315864.2016.1278290
Introduction: Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) are high users of emergency mental health services and can experience stigmatization in these circumstances. The pu...

Proposal For New Certificate Course: Level 5 Certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice

Other
Spassiani, N. Proposal For New Certificate Course: Level 5 Certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice

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Spassiani, N. Proposal For New Certificate Course: Level 5 Certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice
Accredited Curriculum Development Spassiani, N.A. & the Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice Co-ordinating Committee. (2016). The Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied P...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Developing a numeracy module for students with intellectual disabilities in higher education. Trinity College Dublin (€ 1500.00 EUR)
  • Likes, dislikes, supports and barriers: the experience of students with disabilities in university in Ireland. Trinity College Dublin (€1000.00 EUR)
  • Including university students with intellectual disability in STEM. Trinity College Dublin (€ 1500.00 EUR)
  • Sustaining Community Health Initiatives for People Aging with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. Pilot Grant Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation, National Institute on Aging, ($12,500.00 USD).

Current Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • Primary Supervisor for Steven Green. Masters in Business (Health Management) at ENU (Scotland, UK)
  • Primary Supervisor for Suzanne Maynard. Masters in Business (Health Management) at ENU (Scotland, UK)
  • Primary Supervisor for Kennisha Powell. Masters in Business at ENU (Scotland, UK)
  • Primary Supervisor for Brock Clancy. Masters in Business at ENU. (Scotland, UK)
  • Primary Supervisor for Caroline Patton. Masters in Nursing at ENU (Scotland, UK)
  • Second Supervisor for Brittany Barbara. Masters of Arts at Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada)
  • Internal Reviewer for Clement Ryan. PhD in Education. Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)