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Dr John Owuor: Incoming Fellow

Project Title: Exploring the role of Assistive Technologies on social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland

Host Institution: Trinity College Dublin, Centre for Global Health

Host PI: Dr Fiona Larkan

Home Institution: Karolinska Institute


Exploring the role of Assistive Technologies on social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland (ATSOINID Ireland)

The aim of the project is to contribute knowledge on the role of Assistive Technologies (AT) on social inclusion of people with intellectual disability (ID) in Ireland. Literature indicates that people with ID are highly vulnerable to social exclusion and stigma. As part of the government’s efforts to ensure social inclusion of people with ID in Ireland, there is an ongoing deinstitutionalization of care targeting a complete shift to community based care by 2030. Literature also indicate that access to and use of appropriate technology can enhance the lives of people with ID in the communities as they become more independent as opposed to institutional care where all services are provided in the enclosure. But very little is known about the current level of use of such technologies or the needs of people with ID that can be met by access to and use of appropriate assistive technologies in Ireland. This project aims to fill this knowledge gap by exploring the perspectives of people with ID and relevant stakeholders (policy makers, service providers and community members) regarding the potential role of AT in enhancing social inclusion and wellbeing of people with ID. In-depth interviews and participant observations will be used for data collection. This research, focusing on the dialectic perceptions and experiences of service users and service providers, is related to areas of previous research and specialist competence of the researcher, with regard to vulnerable populations and health care risk management. The project seeks to inform design, policy and practice recommendations of AT applications that can enhance social inclusion and wellbeing of people with ID. The findings will be disseminated widely to inform policy and practice.

John Owuor Bio

John received his PhD in Public Health in 2014 from the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom, for which he got the Vice Chancellor’s award for an outstanding thesis.  Prior to the ASSISTID fellowship, he was a research fellow with the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), Stockholm University. At SPIDER, he has been part of a Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) funded research partnership (2015-2020) between Stockholm University and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Tanzania). John was the 2013/2014 Göran Sterky fellow at the Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Between 2005 and 2012, John worked in various research, health promotion and social care programs in the UK; with Terrence Higgins Trust, Sigma Research, AIDSmap and Spectrum Social care. Before moving to the UK, John worked for the government of Botswana as a high school teacher.

John’s research interests include disability research, health inequality, social determinants of health, health systems research, healthcare risk management and application of Information and Communication Technology in health promotion in both high and low income settings. John has several ongoing research affiliations: SPIDER, Stockholm University; Global Health Research group, Karolinska Institute; Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), Linköping University; Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is also a member of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability.