Vera Kubenz

School of Education
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Vera Kubenz is a Research Fellow within the School of Education. She is currently working on an AHRC-funded project with the aim to produce a framework for the UN Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to ensure that the global response to and recovery from COVID-19 is disability-inclusive. Her general research areas of interests are critical disability studies, as well as gender and queer studies, and cultural and media studies.


  • MA in Sociology, University of Warwick, 2010
  • BA (Hons) in Journalism and Media, Coventry University, 2009
  • ILM Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skills


Vera Kubenz is a Research Fellow in the Department of Education and Social Justice, working on the AHRC-funded GCRF project Disability Under Siege.

Vera has returned to academic research after spending several years in professional services roles within the University, providing research support and facilitation, project management, and research communications. Her current role as Research Fellow combines her expertise in research management and coordination with her in-depth knowledge of the field of critical disability studies, and her lived experience as a disabled activist and advocate. Her approach is firmly rooted in the social model of disability and she is particularly interested in how disabled identities are constructed, how disability is conceptualised in society, and the effects of these on the everyday lives and experiences of disabled people. She draws on concepts from gender and queer studies, as well as media and critical discourse studies, in her analysis of the ways in which disabled people navigate an inaccessible world.


Research interests include:

  • disabled identities;
  • disability, ‘microaggressions’, and invisible work;
  • media discourses around disability;
  • feminist and queer theory.

Current project

Named Research Fellow: GCRF Network+ Disability Under Siege, funded by AHRC 

Her involvement in this research focuses on the development of an analytical framework for the UN Partnership for the Rights of Persons for Disabilities, which can be used by countries in the Global South to ensure their response to the COVID-19 pandemic is disability-inclusive. The project seeks to identify and address the various barriers disabled people face when accessing education, healthcare, employment, and community settings as a result of COVID-19 and associated restrictions.

Vera is also part of the 2020 ESRC IAA Mentorship scheme to further develop the real-life impact of her research.