Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Disability Studies

Fax 312-413-0256
Office 326 HHDSB


Scholarly interests entail studying life course transitions related to aging and disability, including: a) how people develop and negotiate life roles and routines as they age and experience disability in the community; b) the resources (people, technology, information, systems and programs) people need and use to self-manage community living regardless of impairment or functional status; c) systems analysis of the availability and allocation of these resources within communities and society; and d) the impact of disability and aging social reference groups on identity, life role and community living choices.

Faculty Mentoring Interests

  • Participatory action research in collaboration with the disability and aging communities
  • Barriers and supports to community living and participation experienced by people with disabilities
  • Disability studies focus on social, societal, cultural, political and economic issues affecting choice and control of people with disabilities
  • Life role transitions and life course planning
  • Social learning, community building & peer mentoring approaches to education, research, and programming
  • Systems change to support choice and control in living situation and the right to live in the community with supports as an option
  • Assistive technology and environmental modifications: examining need for and equitable access to these resources, effective delivery, and impact
  • Community-based practice and consultation


  • Executive Officer of Society for Disability Studies, an international interdisciplinary organization of disabled people, scholars, researchers, artists and activists.
  • Principal Investigator as several federal grants from National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) on community living and participation, systems change to move out of the nursing home, and assistive technology/environmental modifications
  • Faculty liaison/advisor for community practica and action research with two internationally known Centers for Independent Living (Access Living & Progress Center) which are ran by and for people with disabilities.


The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities,
Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) for the State of Illinois

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Department of Disability & Human Development IDHD