Session 1: Karen Whalley Hammell


Seminar Series Launch Competition!

To mark this opening seminar to the All About Occupation series, the 26th registered person to enter the Live Q&A session will win a hard back copy of Illuminating The Dark Side of Occupation: International Perspectives from Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science, Edited By Bex (Rebecca) Twinley


About Karen

Karen Whalley Hammell is Honorary Professor, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

I am a graduate of the Liverpool occupational therapy programme, the Rehabilitation Studies MSc programme at Southampton, and the Interdisciplinary PhD programme at UBC in Vancouver. My work has addressed themes that include spinal cord injury, qualitative research, critical disability studies, client-centred practice, the Capabilities Approach, justice, injustices and occupational rights. My most recent book – Engagement in living: Critical perspectives on occupation, rights and wellbeing (2020; CAOT) – explored occupation as a determinant of human health and wellbeing, and as a human right. Ardently opposed to credulity – the disposition to believe on insufficient evidence – all my work reflects my desire to foster critical thinking, challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and ideologies, and promote the justice and equity required for all people to have equitable opportunities to use their abilities and to attain the occupational rights to which all are equally entitled.

Session Title

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing occupational disruption: Exposing the lie that “we’re all in this together”

Session Details

Karen will reflect on her report entitled ‘Engagement in living during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing occupational disruption’. This essay, about occupation and wellbeing, was written in March 2020 during the uncertainties of the first weeks of the pandemic. Looking back on the intervening year, Karen will explore the deeply rooted social inequities and structural injustices that have been exposed by the pandemic; inequities that impacted occupational rights, wellbeing and the likelihood of survival itself.


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