Dr Sonali Shah

Dr Sonali Shah

School of Nursing
Burdett Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Sonali Shah is a Research Fellow in the School of Nursing at the University of Birmingham. She is funded by a Burdett Trust award to undertake a qualitative study 'Eternal: UK healthcare of women with Cerebral Palsy across the female life cycle'. The purpose is to address the gap in existing understandings about growing older with Cerebral Palsy, and women’s health, and to highlight the health and healthcare experiences of disabled women in general, and women with CP in particular. The proposed outcome is to develop an educational tool for nurses, midwives and allied healthcare practitioners to understand the embodied changes experienced by girls and women with Cerebral Palsy across the life course (from menarche to menopause), and how to overcome structural and cultural barriers to healthcare services, environments and treatments, particularly in relation to reproductive and sexual health.  See the Eternal webpages here.

View Sonali's ORCID iD 


  • Post Graduate Certificate in Accredited Practice (PGCAP) 
  • PhD Occupational Psychology & Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Computing & Management


Changing lives, Changes times (disability awareness in education)
Polio Monologues

Sonali graduated with a PhD in Occupational Psychology and Disability at Loughborough University in 2002.  Since then she has developed a series of innovative projects, supported by prestigious awards and university fellowships on disability issues, human rights and social change with Russell Group universities Nottingham, Leeds and Glasgow.  Sonali has designed and adopted interdisciplinary and creative methodological and dissemination approaches (including theatre and life history methods) to ensure research engages with a diversity of stakeholders to bring an awareness of disability and social change to non-academic and young audiences; and to provide a platform for disabled people to have a voice in the development of practices and policies that impact their lives. 

Sonali currently authors 12 journal articles and 4 books including Global Perspectives of Gender, Disability & Violence (2018); Disability & Social Change: Private Lives & Public Policies (2011); Career Success of Disabled High-flyers (2005); Young Disabled People: Aspirations, Choices and Constraints (2008). She co-ordinates the international Facebook group Women Ageing with Cerebral Palsy.  She is on the editorial boards of Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research and Frontiers in Education (SEN) and a reviewer for journals Research Papers in Education and Qualitative Research. She is guest editor for a special issue on disability for the journal History of the Family, and on the management board for Disability Arts Online.


Other activities



  • Shah, S., Bradbury-Jones, C. (eds)(2018). Global Perspectives of Disability, Gender and Violence: Life Course and Human Rights Approaches. Routledge Publishers.
  • Shah S., Priestley M. (2014) Disability and Social Change: Private Lives and Public Policies. Korean translation. Greenbee Publishing Co.
  • Shah S., Priestley M. (2011) Disability and Social Change: Private Lives and Public Policies, Bristol, Policy Press.
  • Shah S. (2008) Young Disabled People: Aspirations, Choices and Constraints, Surrey, Ashgate Publishers.
  • Shah S (2005); Career Success of Disabled High-Flyers; London: Jessica Kingsley


  • Shah, S., & Greer, S. (2017). Polio monologues: translating ethnographic text into verbatim theatre. Qualitative Research, DOI: 1468794117696141.
  • Shah, S., Tsitsou, L., Woodin, S. (2016). ‘I can’t forget’: Experiences of Childhood Violence and Violence in the Lives of Disabled Women. Childhood: A global journal of child research. 1-16.  
  • Shah, S., Woodin, S. and Tsitou, L. (2016) Hidden Voices: Disabled Women's Experiences of Violence and Support over the Lifecourse. Violence Against Women. 1-22. DOI: 1177/1077801215622577 .  
  • Shah, S., Wallis, M., Conor, F. Kiszley, P (2015). Bringing disability history alive in schools: Promoting a new understanding of disability through performance methods. Research Papers in EducationDOI: 10.1080/02671522.2014.891255. Vol. 30. Iss.3. 
  • Shah S and Priestley M (2009); Home and Away: the impact of educational policies on disabled children’s experiences of family and friendship; Research Papers in Education. Vol. 25. No. 2.

  • Shah S (2010) ; The role of the family on the career aspirations of young disabled people, International Journal of Disability Studies. Vol. 4. No. 1 & 2. Pp100-125.

  • Shah S (2007); Special or Mainstream? – The Views of Disabled Students; Research Papers in Education; Vol. 22(4); pp.425-442 Routledge.

  • Shah S (2006) Sharing the same world: The Researcher and the Researched; Qualitative Research; Vol. 6(2); pp.207-220; London: Sage.

  • Shah S (2005); Choices and Voices: the educational experiences of young disabled people; Career Research and Development: The NICEC Journal; No. 12; pp20-26

  • Shah, S., Arnold, J., Travers, C. (2004); The Impact of Childhood on Disabled Professionals; Children & Society; Vol. 18; pp.1-13

  • Shah, S., Arnold, J., Travers, C. (2004); Disabled and Successful: Education in the life stories of disabled high achievers; Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs; Vol. 4; No.3; pp122-132.
  • Shah, S., Arnold, J. , Travers, C. (2004). The Impact of Childhood on Disabled Professionals. Children & Society. Vol. 18. Issue 3. 194-206