Co-Investigator; Ontario Co-Lead; Executive Committee Member
“I joined the CRWDP in order to connect with researchers in work and disability policy across Canada and contribute to emerging scholarship in this area.”
- Assistant Professor within the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster
- Doctorate degree from the University of Toronto in Rehabilitation Science and a collaborative program in Health Services and Policy Research.
- Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy at Queen's University
Areas of expertise
Rebecca has been involved in research exploring disability in the workplace, employment among individuals living with mental illness, and supported housing for persons with mental illnesses. Her focus is on how social and structural issues impact community participation and the delivery of services.
Rebecca has been involved in research projects related to employment among people living with disabilities including mental illnesses and other episodic conditions, with a particular focus on social systems and structures. Her master’s thesis was a qualitative study on how consumers of community mental health services come to understand their potential for work. Her doctoral dissertation explored the construction and implementation of changes to policies governing employment supports, and its impact on employment services for individuals living with mental illness. Rebecca has continued to conduct research exploring employment and community participation among people with disabilities, and the impact of social policy on service delivery. She is developing a program of research around employment, community participation, and social policy with a focus on services for individuals living with mental illnesses. Some of her current studies include a SSHRC funded project exploring how benefit systems and work needs intersect for individuals living with episodic mental illnesses. Rebecca is part of the employment stream of the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance and leading an Ontario-based employment study exploring how funding structures and accountability models impact the provision of employment services for persons with disabilities.
Project Title: Episodic Disabilities in the Canadian Global Economy
Principal Investigator: Ernie Lightman and Andrea Vick
Co-Investigators: Kirsh, B., Gewurtz, R., Yoshida, K. (and others)
Funding Agency: SSHRC
Amount: $235,000 (Total Standard Research Grant, 410-2010-0178)
Funding Period: 2010-2014
Status: Grant currently in operation.
Gewurtz, R.E., Cott, C., Rush, B., & Kirsh, B. (2012). The shift to rapid job placement for people living with mental illness: An analysis of consequences. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 35(6), 428-434. doi: 10.1037/h0094575
Kirsh, B., Krupa, T., Cockburn, L., & Gewurtz, R. (2010) A Canadian model of work integration for persons with mental illnesses. Disability and Rehabilitation, 32(22), 1833-1846. doi: 10.3109/09638281003734391
Gewurtz, R. & Kirsh, B. (2009). Disruption, disbelief and resistance: A meta-synthesis of disability in the workplace. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, 34 (1), 33-44. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2009-0900
Kirsh, B., Stergiou-Kita, M., Gewurtz, R., Dawson, D., Krupa, T., Lysaght, R., & Shaw, L. (2009). From Margins to mainstream: What do we know about work integration for persons with brain injury, mental illness, and intellectual disability? Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, 32(4), 391-405. doi 10.3233/WOR-2009-0851
Krupa, T., Kirsh, B., Cockburn, L. & Gewurtz, R. (2009).Understanding the stigma of mental illness in employment. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, 33(4), 413-425. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2009-0890
Simon, J., Yack, A., Gewurtz, R., & Kirsh, B. (2013). Episodic mental illnesses and employment: Dilemmas and decisions. Poster presentation. 2013 CAOT National Conference. Victoria, BC. June 1st, 2013.
Kirsh, B., & Gewurtz, R. (2012, June). Pathways to work for people with mental illnesses: Impacts of social and structural factors. Paper presentation. 2012 CAOT National Conference. Quebec, QC. June 8th, 2012.
Krupa, T., Kirsh, B., Cockburn, L., Gewurtz, R. (2011, September). How does the sitgma of mental illness operate in employment? Paper presentation. 2011 PSR/PRS Canada Conference. Cape Breton, NS.
Gewurtz, R., & Kirsh, B. (2011, June). Conceptualizing and responding to the problem of unemployment. Paper presentation. 2011 CAOT National Conference. Saskatoon, SK. June 17th, 2011.
Kirsh, B., Krupa, T., Cockburn, C., & Gewurtz, R. (2010, May). A Canadian model of work integration for persons with mental illness. Paper presentation. 2010 CAOT National Conference. Halifax, NS. May 29th, 2010.
Gewurtz, R. & Kirsh, B. (2009, June). Constructing and implementing public policy for marginalized groups: A case study of ODSP employment supports. Paper Presentation. 2009 CAOT National Conference. Ottawa, ON. June 5th, 2009.
Kirsh, B., Dawson, D., Krupa, T., Lysaght, R., Shaw, L., Kita, M. & Gewurtz, R. (2009, June). Work integration for persons with disabilities: Best practice across three disability groups. Poster Presentation. 2009 CAOT National Conference. Ottawa, ON. June 4th, 2009.