Barbara Gibson, PhD, MSc, BMR(PT)

Associate Professor

Department of Physical Therapy
160-500 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1V7

Phone:  416-978-1819
Fax:         416-946-8562



Barbara Gibson, Associate Professor, is a physical therapist with a PhD in bioethics. She is a Senior Scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital where she directs the Critical Disability and Rehabilitation Studies unit (CDARS).  Barbara holds the Bloorview Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Childhood Disability Studies.  Her research investigates how social, cultural, and institutional practices intersect in producing health, inclusion/exclusion, and identity with disabled children and youth. 

Gibson BE. Rehabilitation; A critical approach. Boca Raton (United States): CRC Press; in press 2015. 

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.

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 BE. Innovative Methods for Single Qualitative Interviews with Disabled Children and Youth. Qualitative Health Research. 2013 Feb;23(2):264 - 274.

Gibson BE, 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 BE, Teachman G. Critical Approaches in Physical Therapy Research: Investigating the Symbolic Value of Walking. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2012;28(6):474-484.

Barbara’s research draws from critical and post modern theories to examine the social and ethical dimensions of disability, rehabilitation and community care. Her work is particularly focused on examining the norms and assumptions embedded in health policies and practices that pertain to disabled children, youth and young adults. The research is transdisciplinary, combining methods and theories from bioethics, social sciences and the health sciences. Current research examines key areas of practice and policy that affect pivotal life choices in the lives of young disabled people and their families – transitioning to adulthood, independent living, optimizing mobility and activity participation, and understanding relationships between mobility, identity, and social inclusion. 

Coordinator: Ethics and Professionalism Cross-curricular Theme. MScPT Program Department of Physical Therapy

Course leader, JRP 1000: Theory and Method for Qualitative Researchers: An Introduction, Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences & Dalla Lana School Of Public Health, University of Toronto. Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research Essentials of Qualitative Research (EQR) Course series.

Bloorview Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Childhood Disability Studies - Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Associate Professor - Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto
Full Member – Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto
Senior Scientist - Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Academic Fellow - Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto
Associate Member – University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics
Research Associate - CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research
Research Associate - Person Centred Research Centre, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand