Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital recently announced Dr. De-Lawrence Lamptey as the EMBARK program’s inaugural scientist. Lamptey’s term will begin in September.
Launched last fall, the EMBARK program (Empowering Black Academics, Researchers and Knowledge creators)—the first of its kind in Canada—fills a crucial gap in amplifying diverse Black voices in childhood disability research. The program aims to address barriers that Black scholars face to set them up for successful academic careers.
This program aims to break down barriers so that Black scholars can advance their research in the field of childhood disability research. Traditionally, researchers from Black communities often face barriers in advancing their research beyond the post-doctoral level. To bridge this gap, the EMBARK program aims to create a space for diverse scientists and researchers to flourish and contribute their valuable insights.
Lamptey obtained his PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University and has received extensive training in childhood disability and early childhood development from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Mount Saint Vincent University and York University. He has several publications related to policy, programs, and services for children and youth with disabilities. He is currently completing his post-doctoral fellowship in the Critical Disability Program at York University’s School of Health Policy & Management.
“Having been able to achieve a lot of my ambitions in life despite the many barriers I have faced as a person with a disability, I decided to do whatever I can to break down barriers and support children and youth with disabilities to thrive in their lives,” Lamptey says.
Lamptey’s current research focuses on the intersectionality of childhood disability and racial identity across Canada. He states that he hopes the EMBARK program will help him “build upon this work to explore the experiences of racialized children and youth with disabilities and their families during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery.” The key, to Lamptey, is understanding the unique experiences of racialized children and youth with disabilities in order to adequately address their needs. He believes that research is a primary tool to better inform policy makers and stakeholders.
As an EMBARK scientist, Lamptey will have access to start-up funds for his research, have principal investigator status on studies, access to advisors, connections to networks and career support over his three-year term. He also aims to establish the Race/Ethnicity And Disability (READ) research lab in order to mobilize researchers, students and community partners to advance important research needed to inform policy and practice across Canada and internationally.
EMBARK was launched in partnership with the Black Research Network (BRN), at the University of Toronto.