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Dr. De-Lawrence Lamptey, EMBARK scientist
Breaking down barriers: Holland Bloorview announces inaugural EMBARK scientist

The program is the first of its kind in Canada to provide opportunities for Black researchers to advance their childhood disability research beyond the post-doctoral level

*** Updated May 6, 2024 ***

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is pleased to announce Dr. De-Lawrence Lamptey as the EMBARK program’s inaugural scientist. Lamptey’s term is set to begin in September of 2023.

Launched last fall, the EMBARK program (Empowering Black Academics, Researchers and Knowledge creators) – the first of its kind in Canada -- fills a crucial gap in amplifying diverse Black voices in childhood disability research. The program aims to address barriers that Black scholars face to set them up for successful academic careers. 

This program aims to break down barriers so that Black scholars can advance their research in the field of childhood disability research. Traditionally, researchers from Black communities often face barriers in advancing their research beyond the post-doctoral level. To bridge this gap, the EMBARK program aims to create a space for diverse scientists and researchers to flourish and contribute their valuable insights.

Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, vice president of research and director of the hospital’s Bloorview Research Institute (BRI) says, “At BRI, we champion diverse voices in research because it leads to better science and better treatment outcomes for our clients and their families. We expect the research of our EMBARK program to transform the landscape of childhood disability research. We are thrilled to have Dr. Lamptey here.” 

Lamptey obtained his PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University and has received extensive training in childhood disability and early childhood development from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Mount Saint Vincent University and York University. He has several publications related to policy, programs, and services for children and youth with disabilities. He is currently completing his post-doctoral fellowship in the Critical Disability Program at York University’s School of Health Policy & Management.

“Having been able to achieve a lot of my ambitions in life despite the many barriers I have faced as a person with a disability, I decided to do whatever I can to break down barriers and support children and youth with disabilities to thrive in their lives,” Lamptey says.

Lamptey’s current research focuses on the intersectionality of childhood disability and racial identity across Canada. He states that he hopes the EMBARK program will help him “build upon this work to explore the experiences of racialized children and youth with disabilities and their families during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery.”

The key, to Lamptey, is understanding the unique experiences of racialized children and youth with disabilities in order to adequately address their needs. He believes that research is a primary tool to better inform policy makers and stakeholders.

As an EMBARK scientist, Lamptey will have access to start-up funds for his research, have principal investigator status on studies, access to advisors, connections to networks and career support over his  term. He also aims to establish the Race/Ethnicity And Disability (READ) research lab in order to mobilize researchers, students and community partners to advance important research needed to inform policy and practice across Canada and internationally.

The EMBARK program was launched in partnership with the Black Research Network (BRN), an Institutional Strategic Initiative (ISI) at the University of Toronto. The BRN’s mission is to promote Black research excellence at the university and beyond. The EMBARK and BRN collaboration is a natural partnership in the mission to centre research on marginalized populations, elevate innovative and novel research, and build communities of research that is reflects more diverse voices.

 “The Black Research Network is thrilled that Dr. De-Lawrence Lamptey has been chosen as the inaugural EMBARK scientist,” says Beth Coleman, the inaugural director of the BRN and an associate professor at University of Toronto. “We look forward to seeing the impact that his work – and the program – have in advancing research excellence in the health sector, where diverse voices and perspectives are crucial in transforming science.”

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