Íslenska

About the researchers

  • Snæfríður Þóra Egilson

    Snæfrídur Thóra Egilson completed her MSc in occupational therapy studies from San Jose State University in California and PhD in education from the University of Iceland. She worked for years as an occupational therapist with disabled children and their families, and later as a teacher at the faculty of health sciences at the University of Akureyri. Since 2013 Snæfrídur is professor in disability studies at the University of Iceland. Snæfrídur’s research is primarily directed at the everyday lives and environments of disabled children and youth, with an emphasis on the children´s own experiences. Other research activities include the lives of families with disabled children and their experiences of the support system.

    Snæfrídur is the principal investigator of the research project, and directs and coordinates the work of the research team. She also participates in qualitative data collection and analysis. Snæfrídur is the main contact person with collaborators in Iceland and abroad as well as with sponsors. She provides the researchers with guidance and support in the research activities e.g. data gathering and analyses, application of theory and scientific writing. Snæfrídur is the main supervisor for the two doctoral students, Linda Björk Ólafsdóttir and Anna Sigrún Ingimarsdóttir.

  • Stefan C Hardonk

    Stefan C Hardonk is assistant professor in disability studies at University of Iceland, Iceland. He obtained an MA degree in sociology and a Ph.D. in social health sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. His research is situated within disability studies, more specifically in the fields of childhood disability, deafness, and employment of disabled people. In his work he applies critical theory from social sciences and disability studies. Stefan has specific interest in the experiences and identities of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their parents, which was also the subject of his doctoral research and his postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellowship (2014-2017).

    Stefan participates in general project management, qualitative data collection and analysis. He works within specific aspects of the project, such as accessibility, interpretation and writing up of findings. Stefan provides supervision and support to the researchers on the project in relation to data collection, data analysis and writing up of findings. His contribution is centred around critical approaches in disability studies and social sciences, for example Foucauldian discourse analysis, Bourdieu’s theory of social and cultural reproduction, and disabled children’s identities from a poststructural perspective. Stefan is on the doctoral committee of Linda Björk Ólafsdóttir.

  • Linda Björk Ólafsdóttir

    Linda Björk Ólafsdóttir completed her BS degree in occupational therapy studies in 2012 and MS degree in the School of Health Sciences at University of Akureyri in 2014. In her master’s thesis, she studied life quality of high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder, aged between 8-17 years (see Egilson, Ólafsdóttir, Leósdottir & Saemundsen, 2016; Ólafsdóttir, Egilson and Ólafsson, 2014). Since her graduation, she worked as a director of special education in an Icelandic preschool and later, as an occupational therapist at the Emergency Hospital in Reykjavík, Iceland. Also, she worked as a research assistant in disability studies at University of Iceland. In 2017 Linda started her Ph.D. program in disability studies.

    Together with Dr. Egilson, Linda is responsible for gathering and analysis of survey data. She will also participate in the qualitative part of the study by conducting case studies with children and their families. Linda’s aim is to develop understanding and knowledge about disabled children’s life quality and daily lives and to identify the environmental features that support or hinder their participation. To this end Linda will investigate existing and new research data from theoretical perspectives that depart from critical disability studies.

  • Anna Sigrún

    Anna Sigrún Ingimarsdóttir is a doctoral student in disability studies at the University of Iceland. She has a diploma in disability studies and a MA degree in social work from the same university. Anna Sigrún worked at the the University Hospital of Iceland in the womens‘ and children‘s ward. Her job entitled supporting patients and their families. Anna Sigrún´s interests lie with issues of young disabled people and how they value and cope with life and emerging adulthood. In 2017 Anna Sigrún started her Ph.D. program in disability studies. Her doctoral project focuses on transitioning, life quality and social participation.

    Anna Sigrún´s contribution to the project is directed at children and youth aged 15-18. years who are approaching their transition to adulthood. She will conduct case studies with disabled youth and their families. Also, Anna Sigrún will participate in developing the project along with other researchers. She will primarily build on critical disability studies and Foucauldian discourse analysis.

  • Ásta Jóhannsdóttir

    Ásta Jóhannsdóttir completed her MA in anthropology from the University of Iceland, and a diploma in applied gender studies from the same university. She is currently finishing her PhD in sociology from the University of Iceland and her thesis defense is planned for May 2018. Ásta‘s research focus is on young people, feminist activism, gender identities and gender equality discourse. Along with her studies Ásta is a teacher at the University of Iceland, Icelandic Academy of the Arts and the University of Bifröst. She has participated in Nordic collaboration both in relation to studies of men and masculinities, and of online violence against women.

    Ásta is currently a regular staff member and from June 1st 2018 she will hold a postdoctoral position in the LIFE-DCY project. Her role as staff member includes preparation of meetings, and organising of events. She also interacts with the Social Sciences Research Institute at the University of Iceland and she provides information about the project to third parties. The main focus of Ásta´s postdoctoral activities are data analysis, writing up of findings and giving theoretical/critical input to the other team members. project.

  • Freyja Haraldsdóttir

    Freyja Haraldsdóttir has a BA degree in social education and a MA degree in gender studies from the University of Iceland. She has taught in disability studies, social education studies and gender studies and worked on research projects related to disability, gender, violence and user-controlled personal assistance. Freyja did her MA thesis on the psycho-emotional effects of multiple oppression for disabled women in cooperation with the department of psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Freyja's theoretical interests are in the area of intersectionality, the manifestations of indirect violence and the effects of discrimination on psychological, physical and social wellbeing of marginalised groups from the standpoint of feminist and critical theories in disability studies, gender studies and psychology. Freyja is also the founder and spokesperson of Tabú, a feminist disability movement.

    Freyja will participate in meetings and workshops of the LIFE-DCY research team. She will collect data through focus group interviews with disabled youth in cooperation with the research team and she will be responsible for analysing the data.


University of Iceland | Sæmundargötu 2 | 101 Reykjavík | E-mail: sne@hi.is
Research project funded by the Icelandic Research Fund (nr. 174299-051)