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Dr. Barbara Gibson

Barbara Gibson, PhD, MSc, BMR(PT)

Adjunct Scientist

Visit the CDARS lab page



Research Focus:

Dr. Gibson's research focuses on investigating and improving quality of life, community participation, and social inclusion of children, youth and young adults with disabilities through an examination of the health practices and policies that affect their daily lives. She is also heads up the CDARS (Critical Disability and Rehabilitation Studies) Lab at Holland Bloorview.

Research/Trainee/Volunteer Opportunities:

We are not accepting graduate students and post-doctorate fellows at this time.

Education & Profession


  • Ph.D., Collaborative Program in Bioethics, Collaborative Program in Health Care Technology and Place, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto  
  • M.Sc., Collaborative Program in Bioethics, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto 
  • Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy), University of Manitoba

Professional Memberships:

  • Canadian Physiotherapy Association

University Positions / Affiliations:

  • Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto 
  • Full Member, Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto 
  • Associate Professor, Person Centred Research Centre, AUT University, New Zealand
  • Research Associate, CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University
  • Adjunct Fellow, Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto 
  • Associate Member, Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto

Honours and Awards:

  • 2018 Continuing/Sustained Excellence in Graduate Supervision and Mentorship Award, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
  • 2016 Inducted into The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of The Royal Society of Canada
  • 2015 Norington Medal for international leadership in rehabilitation research, Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Current Projects


Click here to see a list of Dr. Gibson’s publications on Google Scholar 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

Selected Books and Book Chapters:

Gibson, D Nicholls, J Setchell, KS Groven, editors. Manipulating Practice; A Critical Physiotherapy Reader. Oslo (Norway): Cappelen Damm Academic publishing. Jan 2018.

Gibson, BE. Rehabilitation: A post-critical approach. Boca Raton (United States): CRC Press; 2016.

McPherson, K, Gibson BE, Leplege A, editor(s). Rethinking Rehabilitation Theory and Practice. Boca Raton (United States): CRC Press; 2015.

Nicholls D, Gibson BE, Fadyl J. Rethinking Movement: postmodern reflections on a dominant rehabilitation discourse. In: McPherson, KM, Gibson BE, Leplege A, editor(s). Rethinking Rehabilitation: Theory and Practice. Boca Raton (United States): CRC Press; 2015.

Selected Peer Review Publications:

Fadyl J., Cunningham H., Nakarada-KordicI., Reay S., Waters T., Waterworth K., Gibson B.E.Settled and unsettling: Design and flows of affect in a hospital waiting area. 2019 Nov (in press). Senior Responsible Author

Gibson B.E. Worlding disability: Categorizations, labels, and the making of people. American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience. 2019 Jun: 10(2):85-96. Principal Author

Setchell J, Abrams T, McAdam LC, Gibson B.E. Cheer* in Health Care Practice: What It Excludes and Why It Matters. Qualitative Health Research. 2019 Sept; 29(13): 1890-1903

Gibson B.E., Terry G., Setchell J., Bright F.A.S., Cummins C., Kayes N.M. The micro-politics of caring: Tinkering with person-centred rehabilitation. Disability & Rehabilitation Special Issue: Ultrabilitation. 2019 Early Online

Abbott, D., Carpenter, J., Gibson, B.E., Hastie, J., Jepson, M, Smith, B., Disabled men with muscular dystrophy negotiate gender. Disability & Society. 2019 Early Online.

Thille, P., Gibson, B.E., Abrams, T., McAdam, L.C., Mistry, B. and Setchell, J. Enhancing the human dimensions of children’s neuromuscular care: piloting a methodology for fostering team reflexivity. Advances in Health Sciences Education.2018 Nov 23(5), 867-889

Abrams, T., *Setchell J, Thille, P, Mistry, B., Gibson, B.E. Affect, intensity, and moral assemblage in rehabilitation practice, BioSocieties. 2018 Mar; Early Online.

Setchell J, Thille P, Abrams T, McAdam LC, Mistry B, Gibson BE. Enhancing human aspects of care with young people with muscular dystrophy: Results from a participatory qualitative study with clinicians. Child: care, health and development. 2018 Mar 1;44(2):269-77

Setchell, J., Nicholls, D., Gibson B.E., Objecting: Multiplicity and the practice of physiotherapy. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 2018 Jan 22 (2):165-184

Teachman, G., & Gibson, B.E. Integrating visual methods with dialogical interviews in research with youth who use augmentative and alternative communication. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 2018 Jan.  Electronic Journal

Teachman, G, McDonough, P, Macarthur, C, Gibson, BE. A critical dialogical methodology for conducting research with disabled youth who use augmentative and alternative communication. Qualitative Inquiry. Special issue: "Reclaiming” Disability in Critical Qualitative Research. 2018 Jan; 24(1): 35-44

Abrams T, Gibson BE. Putting Gino’s Lesson to Work: Actor-Network Theory, Enacted Humanity, and Rehabilitation. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 2017 Jul 21(4): 425-440.

Gibson BE, King G, Teachman G, Mistry B, Hamdani Y. Assembling Activity/Setting Participation with Disabled Young People. Sociology of Health & Illness. 2017 May;39(4):497-512.

Hamdani Y, Mistry B, Gibson BE. Transitioning to Adulthood with a Progressive Condition: Best Practice Assumptions and Individual Experiences of Young Men with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2015 May;37(13):1144-1151

Phelan S, Wright V, Gibson BE. Representations of Disability and Normality in Rehabilitation Technology Promotional Materials. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2014 Nov;36(24):2072-2079

Gibson BE, King G, Kingsnorth S, McKeever P. The ‘placement’ of people with profound impairments across the lifespan: re-thinking age criteria. BMC Medicine. 2014 May 21;12:83. electronic resource. Available from: 10.1186/1741-7015-12-83.

Gibson BE. Parallels and problems of normalization in rehabilitation and universal design: enabling connectivities. Disability and Rehabilitation. Special Issue: Designing Inclusive Environments: Shaping Transitions from Theory into Practice. 2014 Mar;36(16):1328-33.

Gibson BE, Mistry B, Smith B, Yoshida KK, Abbott D, Lindsay S, and Hamdani Y. Becoming men: Gender, disability, and transitioning to adulthood. Health. 2014 Jan;18(1):93-112.

Teachman, G, & Gibson, B E. Children and youth with Disabilities: Innovative Methods for Single Qualitative Interviews. Qualitative Health Research. 2013 Feb;23(2):264 - 274.

Gibson, B E, Carnevale, F A, & King, G. “This is My Way”: Reimagining Disability, Independence, and Interconnectedness of Persons and Assistive Technologies. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2012 Nov;34(22):1894-1899.

Gibson, B E, Teachman, G, Wright, V, Fehlings, D, Young, N L, & McKeever, P. Children’s and Parents’ Beliefs Regarding the Value of Walking: Rehabilitation Implications for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Child: Care, Health and Development. 2012;38(1):61-69.

Nicholls, DA, & Gibson, B E. The Body and Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2010;26(8):497-509.

Gibson, B E. Disability, Connectivity and Transgressing the Autonomous Body. Journal of Medical Humanities. 2006;27:187-196.

Contact Info

Contact Information:

Bloorview Research Institute
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 
150 Kilgour Road Toronto, Ontario M4G 1R8 
Tel: 416-425-6220, extension 3324 

Department of Physical Therapy 
University of Toronto 
160-500 University Ave Toronto, ON M5G 1V7 
Tel: 416-978-1819

Click here to view Dr. Barbara Gibson's twitter page.

Contact Email: