Debbie Laliberte Rudman, PhD, OT Reg.(Ont.)

Associate Professor
School of Occupational Therapy and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program
Faculty of Health Sciences

Western University
School of Occupational Therapy
Room 2537 - Elborn College
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5B9
Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 88965


Debbie Laliberte Rudman, PhD, OT Reg.(Ont.), is an Associate Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy and the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. She has affiliate appointments at several universities, including the University of North Carolina, Cape Town University, the University of Toronto and the University of Dalhousie. She completed her PhD in the Public Health Sciences program at the University of Toronto in 2003, a Masters in Occupational Therapy at Western, and a Bachelors in Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto.

Her primary research interests relate to the socio-political shaping of the occupational lives and subjectivities of aging adults; that is, to understanding discursive and other contextual influences on what people do as they age and the implications of occupation for identity, community participation, health and well-being. More broadly, in her work, she has applied critically-oriented qualitative approaches to examine how occupations and identities of individuals and collectives, particularly of groups who experience social and economic marginalization, are situated within socio-cultural, political, economic, and historical conditions, and the implications of discursive constructions for subjectivity, identity, social inclusion, health and well-being. Within the field of Occupational Science, as well as within critical gerontology more broadly, Dr. Rudman’s long-term program of research addressing the contemporary socio-political reconfiguration and individual negotiation of aging and retirement has been widely disseminated, and has resulted in 11 invited international talks. She has received national and international recognition for the methodological, theoretical, and substantive contributions of her research. For example, in 2012 she received the top lectureship for a Canadian occupational scientist, specifically The Townsend Polatajko Lectureship. In that same year, she was the first Canadian recipient of the Mitchell Lectureship in Occupational Science at the University of North Carolina. Most recently, in 2013, she was the first Canadian recipient of the top lectureship in Occupational Science awarded in the United States (The Ruth Zemke Lectureship).

Dr. Rudman is currently involved in research addressing socio-political determinants of occupation for seniors with low-vision; the occupational possibilities and well-being of First Nations youth and children; the contemporary re-shaping and management of long-term unemployment at discursive, policy and individual levels; and policy, organizational and social barriers to and facilitators of integration through occupation for migrants.