DOCTRID-MSU Hegarty Fellows

Fellows List

Rebecca Irvine, Ph.D.

University: Michigan State University, Queen’s University Belfast and NUI Galway

As a Hegarty Fellow, I will be co-located at Michigan State University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the National University of Ireland - Galway. My primary research objective during the Fellowship will be to identify ways to make the policy environment more accessible for people with intellectual disabilities and their advocates. I intend to work with self-advocates/advocates, policy-makers, and organizations in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Michigan, in order to gain a better insight into the limited inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in influencing and measuring policy outcomes.
My educational background includes a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University, an M.A. in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University Belfast, and a Ph.D. in Social Policy, also from Queen’s University Belfast. My doctoral thesis, ‘The Other Minority: Disability Policy in the Post-Civil Conflict Environment’, was an international comparative project that considered the involvement of people with disabilities in post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building, in addition to the social, economic, and political factors that affect policy development and implementation during conflict transformation. Other projects and publications have included:
‘Shortfalls in Public Policy and Programme Delivery in Northern Ireland Relative to the UNCRPD’ (with Dr Bronagh Byrne & Dr Colin Harper); ‘Inquiry into Post Special Education Need Provision in Education, Employment & Training for People with Intellectual Disabilities’ (on behalf of the Committee for Employment and Learning in the Northern Ireland Assembly); ‘Getting Disability on the Post-Conflict Agenda: the Role of a Disability Movement’ published in D Mitchell and V Karr (2014) Conflict, Disaster and Disability: Ensuring Equality; and ‘Prioritizing the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Post-Conflict Education Reform’ in Child Care in Practice special edition on children with disabilities (January 2015).
Prior to undertaking my Ph.D., I also worked for Mencap in Northern Ireland, coordinating numerous campaigns and establishing the All-Party Group on Intellectual Disability in the Northern Ireland Assembly.