Assistant Professor

Yani Hamdani

Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy


Rehabilitation Sciences Building
160-500 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1V7
Research Interests
Occupational Science, Rehabilitation Health Services Studies, Social and Cognitive Rehabilitation Sciences
MSc, PhD

Yani Hamdani, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and a Clinician-Scientist at the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada. She completed a PhD in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto in 2016 and was a PhD Fellow in the CIHR Strategic Training Program in Public Health Policy. She completed postdoctoral work at both CAMH and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She is a qualitative researcher and registered Occupational Therapist with a particular interest in childhood disability over the life course.

Research Synopsis

Dr. Hamdani’s research program aims: 1) to improve the health and wellbeing of young people labeled disabled and their family caregivers; and, 2) improve access to health and social services that are relevant to their daily lives and circumstances. She is particularly interested in the challenges experienced by young people labeled with developmental disabilities in accessing mental health care and social services as they transition from child to adult services. Three main themes guide her current research program: 1) the gendered experiences of health and health care of girls and women on the autism spectrum; 2) mental health and wellness promotion for disabled youth and family caregivers; and, 3) enabling participation of young adults with developmental disabilities in meaningful occupations. Dr. Hamdani takes an interdisciplinary approach to research, including rehabilitation, occupational and public health sciences, critical disability studies, and policy change theories, with the overarching aim of examining taken for granted assumptions (e.g., about disability, mental health, gender) embedded in policies and practices, and the beneficial and harmful effects on the populations they aim to help.

Recent Publications

  1. Hamdani Y, Yee T, Oake M, McPherson AC. (in press). Multi-stakeholder perspectives on perceived wellness of Special Olympics athletes. Disability and Health Journal. Advanced online publication.
  2. Fadyl JK, Teachman, Hamdani Y. (2019) Problematizing ‘productive citizenship’ within rehabilitation services: insights from three studies, Disability and Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2019.1573935
  3. Hamdani Y, Yee T, Rowland E, McPherson, AC. (2018). Examining wellness in children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A scoping review. Current Developmental Disorders Report. 5(3): 165-196.
  4. Hamdani Y, Ary A. Lunsky Y. (2017). Critical analysis of a population mental health strategy: Effects on stigma for people with intellectual & developmental disabilities. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 10(2): 144-161.
  5. Hamdani Y, Mistry B, Gibson BE. (2015). Transitioning to adulthood with a progressive condition: Best practice assumptions and individual experiences of young men with Duchene muscular dystrophy. Disability and Rehabilitation. 37(13): 1144-1151.

Honours and Awards

  • Dr. John Whittaker Memorial Award 2018, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship [2017-2019]
  • Pursuit Award 2017 for Excellence in PhD Research in Childhood Disability, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital