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. 

Setchell, J., Abrams, T., Thille, P., Mistry, B. Gibson, BE. Expanding current thinking about muscular dystrophy: enhancing care. Child: Care, Health & Development 2017 Nov; Early Online

Gibson BE, Mistry B, Wright FV, Development of child and family-centred engagement guidelines for clinical administration of the Challenge to measure advanced gross motor skills: A qualitative study. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics. Early Online Aug, 2017.

Teachman, G, McDonough, P, Macarthur, C, Gibson, BE. A critical dialogical methodology for conducting research with disabled youth who use augmentative and alternative communication. Qualitative Inquiry. Special issue: "Reclaiming” Disability in Critical Qualitative Research. 2017 Sep; Early Online

Gibson BE, King G, Teachman G, Mistry B, Hamdani Y. Assembling Activity/Setting Participation with Disabled Young People. Sociology of Health & Illness. 2017 May;39(4):497-512.

Abrams T, Gibson BE. Putting Gino’s Lesson to Work: Actor-Network Theory, Enacted Humanity, and Rehabilitation. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 2017 Jul 21(4): 425-440.

Nixon, SA; Yeung, E; Shaw, J; Kuper A, Gibson BE. The 7-Step Framework for Critical Analysis and Its Application in the Field of Physiotherapy. Physical Therapy. 2017 Sep 97 (2): 249-257.

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


Gibson BE, D Nicholls, J Setchell, KS Groven, editors. Manipulating Practice: A Critical Physiotherapy Reader. Oslo (Norway): Cappelen Damm Academic publishing. In press: January, 2018.

Gibson BE. Rehabilitation; A critical approach. Boca Raton (United States): CRC Press; 2016.

McPherson, K, Gibson BE, Leplege A, editor(s). Rethinking Rehabilitation Theory and Practice. Boca Raton (United States): CRC Press; 2015.

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

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
Adjunct 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
Associate Professor - Person Centred Research Centre, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand