February 24, 2023 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Dr. Stephanie Baird, Assistant Professor in the King’s School of Social Work, is the co-recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grant ($29,931). It is for a collaborative research study, "A qualitative meta-synthesis of the lived experiences of gender-based violence among women with disabilities."

The study aims to increase understanding of gender-based violence among disabled women, with the goal of informing social services to better meet their needs.

The project is being led by Prof. Ami Goulden, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Memorial University. It brings together a team of experts from across Canada, including co-applicants Dr. Baird and Dr. Laura Pacheco, School of Social Work, Memorial University, as well as collaborators Lisa Faye, St. John’s Status of Women Council, and Dr. Debbie Norris, Department of Family Studies & Gerontology, Mount Saint Vincent University, Sarah MacDonald, learning strategist for students with disabilities, and Memorial University BSW students, Sierra MacNeil and Josh Pittman.

“Our varied experiences and knowledge from different service contexts provide important opportunities to exchange ideas and engage with different communities across Canada,” says Dr. Baird. The goal of the research is to enhance service-delivery and provisions for disabled women who experience gender-based violence. The team is centering their research study on the voices and experiences of disabled women.

Their research will lead to the development of a new Guidelines for Service Providers manual, which will be presented at a community event in St. John’s in February 2024.

Disabled women experience more severe and frequent forms of violence than non-disabled women, Prof. Goulden notes. In addition, community services for survivors of gender-based violence are often inaccessible, and previous understandings of disability and gender-based violence are rarely informed by disabled people.

“The lack of attention to gender-based violence and disability has contributed to the invisibility of the victimization of disabled women,” she says.

Dr. Baird adds, “I hope this is a starting point for developing further connections and relationships to keep building on the work of this project in future, based on the needs and next steps identified by community members.”

At King’s, Dr. Baird teaches courses in social work including Trauma and Trauma-informed Practice, Critical Reflection and Appraisal of Social Work Practice, alongside Dr. Laura Béres who developed the course. Dr. Baird also teaches the Advanced Practicum and Integration Seminar, and the Introduction to Social Work Practice and Communication Skills. In addition, Dr. Baird sits on the School of Social Work at King’s Admissions Committee and Field Committee. She is also a member of The Dean’s Working Group on Research Data Management at King’s.