June 6, 2017
Dr. Hamdani recognized at 2017 Pursuit Awards for her research in advancing the health and wellbeing for youth with developmental disabilities
Yani Hamdani is no stranger to Holland Bloorview. She previously worked at the
hospital as an occupational therapist and was involved in its LIFEspan
Service, developed with UHN-Toronto Rehab to
help youth and young adults with childhood-onset disability transition to adult
services. Her latest achievement
at Holland Bloorview was being awarded first place winner during the 2017 Pursuit Awards in May.
support from the Ward Family and Holland Bloorview’s research institute, the
annual Pursuit Awards recognizes PhD students from across the globe for their
outstanding achievements in childhood disability research. Finalists are chosen
based on significance of research results, methodologic rigour, empirical
content and impact on childhood disability care. This year, Dr. Hamdani’s
research was one of three projects chosen from the PhD students who are making
incredible contributions in the field of childhood disability.
of my PhD research was to examine how transition to adulthood for young people
with a disability is problematized in public policies in Ontario, and the
implications of this for these youth and their parents,” says Dr. Hamdani.
(From L to R) Dr. Yani Hamdani and Dr. Amy McPherson, interim vice president, Holland Bloorview's research institute, at the 2017 Pursuit Awards
a unique, critical approach that comes from the social sciences, Dr. Hamdani’s
research examined policies on rehabilitation, education and developmental
services in Ontario, as well as interview transcripts of 13 parents of young
people with a developmental disability. She found youth with a developmental
disability and their families are often marginalized and experience
disadvantages because of preconceived assumptions about ‘normal’ adulthood
and Western ideas about success,
including working and independent living.
truly honoured to have been recognized for the unique value of my research toward
a more enriched and advanced understandings of childhood disability over the
life course,” says Dr. Hamdani. “I hope my research will contribute to a new
lens for understanding health and wellbeing for young people with a developmental
disability, and I’m committed to advancing the health and wellbeing of all
young people and their families.”
Hamdani would love to see policies and transition programs embrace diversity
and view disability as a dimension of difference instead of focusing on what is
‘normal’. She recommends developing programs and services that support people
with developmental disabilities and their families over their whole life
course, as opposed to a service transfer from children to adult services.
Hamdani’s journey at Holland Bloorview will soon come full circle. She will
complete her postdoctoral work with Dr. Amy McPherson, which will focus on understanding
what health and wellness looks like for children and youth with intellectual
and developmental disabilities from a more holistic perspective, in partnership
with Special Olympics Ontario and Special Olympics Canada.
excited to embark on this new research journey with Dr. McPherson, and am looking
forward to linking it with my current work at the Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health (CAMH) under the supervision of Dr. Yona Lunsky,” says Dr. Hamdani.
Hamdani, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Holland Bloorview!