Siobhan Macfarlane

Siobhan Macfarlane

Doctoral Trainee

Bio

Framing a doctoral traineeship in Digital Civics within the trans-disciplinary research environment at Open Lab, I bring a varied professional background in social work and adult social care. At a time of rapid change and precarity in UK welfare and social care provision, current research interests encompass the tensions disabled people face at the interface of personalised social care and health.

Peer-led initiatives that facilitate support and expertise exchange across a community of people who self-direct their personal assistance are a particular focus, examining the role of digital technology in infrastructuring local personalised and sustainable care pathways. Working closely with a prominent user-led disability charity that promotes inclusion, independence and choice for disabled people, together we are examining key enablers and barriers to establishing peer networks and have embarked on a related research engagement with the Newcastle Social Justice Fund exploring the challenges and opportunities local disabled people and their personal assistants face in establishing peer support.