Personal profile

Research interests

Audrey's research interests stems from her experience as a clinical specialist working in partnership with learning/intellectually disabled people and their family caregivers. 

Audrey's current research amalgamates her clinical knowledge and experience with her personal interest in the concepts of humanising and empathic home environment designing (designing that puts the person in the centre and can evoke emotion, attention, and influence sensation and wellbeing). She is interested in the influence of 'home' on people, particularly on the lives of intellectually disabled people. 

A list of research/supervisory areas of interest can be found further below. 

Scholarly biography

Audrey's occupational therapy career began in the NHS where she worked in mental health services and subsequently, in learning/intellectual disability services. In this time, she worked with people with complex health and social care needs, alongside their families, carers and support services; with the aim of supporting their occupational participation in life. This has allowed her to develop and use a broad range of core and specialist occupational therapy skills. She is a Sensory Integration (SI) practitioner having completed the post-graduate SI course with Ulster University (in conjunction with the SI Network). She moved into academia full time after 26 years of working for the NHS. 

Audrey's previous research focused on family caregivers of people with dementia, with specific focus on the occupational impact on their lives and how they and their loved ones could be better supported through the ‘dementia trajectory’ process.

She is now working toward her PhD by Publication, which focuses on the concepts of humanising and empathic home environment designing. This considers the sensory influence of home environment designing and how it may affect one's emotions, or capture one's attention and affect their participation, to have an overall effect on their ability to thrive and flourish within that space. Her research aims to increase the understanding of the potential occupational therapy role and contribution to this area. She is particularly interested in how the designing of humanistic and safe home environments can effect the lives of intellectually disabled people. Her research will explore perspectives from occupational therapists, intellectually disabled people and their carers/care providers; and contribute to the 'Building the Right Support (2022), a national programme aimed at supporting intellectually disabled people to have equal rights and opportunities to a safe, healthy and sustainable quality of life in their homes and communities. 

In 2023, Audrey was awarded the Royal College of Occupational therapists Research Career Development grant to support the following research study: The occupational therapy contribution to good home environment design to support the participation and wellbeing of  intellectual disabled people.

Audrey is a member of the University of Brighton SOLID Research Group  and her other research projects can be found here

Approach to teaching

Audrey's clinical expertise is in the area of intellectual disabilities so where appropriate, she shares examples of her clinical knowledge and experience in this area, using current policies, best practice evidence and latest developments to help illuminate and reflect real-life practice. She uses a mix of blended learning methods in her teaching, such as online resources, practical approaches and real life case studies.

As a tutor, Audrey embraces the problem-based learning (PBL) approach, embedded across the occupational therapy programme at University of Brighton. This is an interactive and inclusive approach, which facilitates small groups of students to develop their ability to be independent thinkers and lifelong learners. Audrey adopts a ‘just-right’ challenging and supportive approach to illicit a balance of critical as well as reflective and 'deeper' thinking from students. She is, at the same time, welcoming and respectful of what each student brings from their personal and professional background, which contribute to the overall experience of shared learning and knowledge.

Supervisory Interests

Audrey supervises MSc students on their research dissertations in her areas of interest which include, but is not limited to:

  • Humanistic home environment designing to support wellbeing and participation
  • The importance and influence of 'home' (and in relation to the concepts of 'doing, being, becoming, belonging').
  • Human rights and occupational justice for marginalised people.   
  • Learning/intellectual disabilities 
  • Conducting a systematic or scoping review as a research method
  • Qualitative research
  • Sensory integration and processing
  • Dementia and family caregiving


Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 21 Nov 2018

Sensory Integration practitioner , Ulster University

Award Date: 31 Aug 2012

Master, University of Brighton

Sept 2009Oct 2011

Award Date: 31 Oct 2011

Bachelor, Curtin University

Award Date: 31 Dec 1991


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