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Personal profile

Research interests

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

Her previous research focused on how intellectually disabled people, with a diagnosis of (early-onset) dementia, and their carergivers are supported. Her interest lay in the working partnership between occupational therapists and family caregivers, 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.

Audrey is also interested in the effective use of sensory processing-based approaches and the provision and designing of safe, occupationally engaging and humanistic home environments for intellectually disabled people with complex health and social care needs; in particular, the responses of individuals with sensory processing issues and behaviours of concern. Audrey is currently working on her PhD by Publication, which aims to increase the understanding of the occupational therapy contribution to good, humanistic home environment designing to improve the lives and wellbeing of intellectually disabled people. This will explore perspectives from occupational therapists, intellectuallly disabled people and their carers/care providers; and how this can 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.

Audrey is a member of the University of Brighton SOLID Research Group.  

Scholarly biography

Audrey's occupational therapy career began in the NHS where she worked in mental health services and  subsequently, in the past 20 plus years in the area of learning/intellectual disability. In this time, she has worked with people with complex health and social needs, alongside their families, carers and support services; with the aim of supporting their occupational performance and 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 the University of Ulster (in conjunction with the Sensory Integration Network). Audrey has responsibility as the practice learning leader on the MSc (Pre-registration) Occupational Therapy programme. She teaches on this and on the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course.

Audrey's current research is on the humanistic designing of home environments, particularly for intellectually disabled people.

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 tries to adopt 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 within the PBL groups.

Supervisory Interests

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

  • Humanistic home designing, particularly for health and wellbeing of learning/intellectually disabled people. 
  • Human rights and occupational justice for marginalised groups.   
  • 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

Master, University of Brighton

Sept 2009Oct 2011

Award Date: 31 Oct 2011

Bachelor, Curtin University

Award Date: 31 Dec 1991


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