Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Janet Njelesani, PhD, OTR/L, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Njelesani is an occupational therapist with a PhD in Rehabilitation Science and Global Health from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Njelesani's research investigates how the fields of occupational therapy, global health, and international development intersect to mediate participation for persons with disabilities. Her current research explores school violence against children with disabilities in East Africa. Her specific emphasis on the relationships among local, regional, national, and international forces and factors that influence participation in occupations led to the development of a new qualitative methodology, a critical occupational approach, which can guide critical approaches to occupational therapy research and practice locally and internationally. She has carried out her work in North America, South East Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa, collaborating with researchers from each of these regions.
To her research, Dr. Njelesani brings a breadth of both clinical and consulting expertise, having worked as a clinician for over 10 years and through her role providing disability and rehabilitation technical advice to Governments, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organizations.
Dr. Njelesani has published and presented widely in her areas of research. She has also contributed to seminal international publications, including the WHO World Report on Disability and UNICEF's A rights-based approach to inclusive education for children with disabilities. Dr. Njelesani teaches professional and post-professional courses on research, foundations of occupational therapy, and evidence-based practice.