Dr. Alison Gerlach


AGDr. Alison Gerlach is a registered occupational therapist who trained in the U.K. and immigrated to Canada in 1991. Prior to her doctoral studies at UBC, Alison provided community-based early intervention and school therapy programs and services in the public and private sector in B.C. For the past 15 years, Alisonís work has focused on developing partnership with Indigenous communities, organizations and colleagues on a shared agenda of promoting childrenís health and wellbeing. Alisonís MSc in occupational therapy (San Jose State University in California) included a qualitative study with members of the Lilíwat Nation in southwestern B.C.

Alisonís doctoral research is one of the few studies internationally to draw on critical theoretical perspectives and an equity lens to examine how an Indigenous-specific early childhood intervention program contributes towards family well-being and health equity for Indigenous infants and young children who live with structurally-rooted social disadvantages.

Alison is currently developing a postdoctoral program of critically oriented research that will focus on how childrenís rehabilitation services can be provided in ways that promote the health and well-being of children who have developmental disabilities and who experience increased vulnerability as a result of structural inequities and structural violence, including chronic poverty and racialization.

Alison facilitated a section of RHSC 583 on Culture in Practice, has supervised numerous MRSc major projects, and joined the RHSC 583, Qualitative and Survey Research teaching team in 2015.