UStED CONSORTIA CORE TEAM

Alice Mathers - Curriculum Vitae

Alice Mathers

Dr Alice Mathers BA, Dip LA, PhD
I am currently undertaking an ESRC awarded PhD place at Sheffield University. My research focuses on the creation of visual communication methods to be used as a participation toolkit for the inclusion of people with learning disabilities in the experience of public open space. Collaborations with Mencap centres in South Yorkshire and Northumberland have extended the practice element of this research, providing avenues along which to convey and evolve findings back amongst the local community.

   

 

 

RESEARCH AGENDA
My research focuses on the creation of visual communication methods to be used as a participation toolkit for the inclusion of people with learning disabilities in the experience of public open space. Collaborations with Mencap centres in South Yorkshire and Northumberland (UK) have extended the practice element of this research, providing avenues along which to convey and evolve findings back amongst the local community.

EDUCATION
The University of Sheffield
Postgraduate
Reading for Economic and Social Research Council awarded PhD (2004 to date).
PhD: The Participation of People with Learning Disabilities in the Experience of Public Open Space.

2007 Disability Equality Training: Trainer of Trainers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Disability Equality Training: Training of Trainers, Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Department of Social Welfare, Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 2007)

Membership of UStED alliance.
Article for publication in Special Edition ‘Disability and Environment’, Local Environment journal (to be published late 2008).

2006 Membership of international design forum ‘Claiming Public Space’.
Presentation at Yorkshire Peoples’ Parliament (learning disability self-advocacy regional assembly).
Completion of comparative learning disability study contributing to ‘Land and Environment’ BTEC.
National Learning Disability Week exhibitions display work by Sheffield and Northumberland participants with learning disabilities.

2005 Coordinated exhibition at Showroom Cinema, Sheffield, by Sheffield Mencap participants.
Attended (supported by Sheffield Mencap) RNID “Deaf and disability awareness training” course.

2004 Research Proposal passed by the University of Sheffield Research Committee, status upgraded from MPhil to PhD.

2003 Awarded bursary by the University of Sheffield to develop a research proposal leading to a PhD.
Assisted at international conference ‘Public Parks: Keep Out’ (Green Space, Sensory Trust).

Undergraduate
2001 - 2003 Diploma in Landscape Architecture
1998 - 2001 BA Hons Landscape Design and Town Planning
Awarded Upper Second Class (2:1)

Gap Year
1997 – 1998 Assistant tutor for learning disabled students
Landscape design work experience placement
Waitress
Adult continuing education black and white photography course.

Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham, Northumberland
1997 A Levels: Biology (B), Geography (B), Art (D).
1995 GCSEs: 9 subjects, grades A* - B including English, Mathematics and Dual Award Science.


PUBLICATIONS
Mathers, A. (2008) Hidden Voices: the participation of people with learning disabilities in the experience of public open space. Doctoral Thesis, University of Sheffield, UK.

Oct 2007 Approaches of inclusivity Part 1: Listening to and understanding the voices of people with learning disabilities in the planning and design process, book chapter in: Urban Sustainability Through Environmental Design: Approaches to Time-people-place Responsive Urban Spaces by Sergio Porta, Kevin Thwaites, Ombretta Romice, and Mark Greaves.

Mathers. A.R. (2006) Participation of People with Learning Disabilities in the Landscape Design Process of Urban Green Space.
view article

Mathers A (October 2004) The Participation of People with Learning Disabilities in the Landscape Design Process of Urban Green Space. Paper and conference presentation at the international Open Space: People Space conference, Edinburgh, UK. view paper

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Mathers, A. (July 2008) Hidden Voices: the Participation of People with Learning Disabilities in the Experience of Public Open Space. Thematic session presentation at the IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Mathers A (September 2006) The participation of people with learning disabilities in the experience of public open space. Paper presenation at the DSA Conference: Disability Studies, Research and Learning, hosted by Disability Studies Association, Lancaster University, UK.

Mathers A. R. (April 2006) The participation of people with learning disabilities in the experience of public open space. Seminar presentation at: Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference. Department of Sociological Studies, The University of Sheffield.

Mathers A (May 2005) The Participation of People with Learning Disabilities in the Experience of Public Green Space. Poster presentation at the UK Grad Programme: Presenting Your Research to the General Public in association with Northumbria University, hosted by the University of Leeds, UK.

Mathers A (May 2005) The Participation of People with Learning Disabilities in the Landscape Design Process of Public Space. Poster presentation at EDRA 36: Design for Diversity, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Mathers A (October 2004) The Participation of People with Learning Disabilities in the Landscape Design Process of Urban Green Space. Paper and conference presentation at the international Open Space: People Space conference, Edinburgh, UK. view paper


EMPLOYMENT
Nov 2007- Disability Equality Trainer of Trainers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Co-led (with Dr Rebecca Mallett) five-day international seminar and Disability Equality Training (DET) course organised by Department of Social Welfare, Malaysia and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Oct 2007- March 2008 Research assistant, Landscape Department, University of Sheffield. - Literature review and editing of academic papers.

April 2007 - Guest lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University. Invited to speak to students attending the Disability and Research undergraduate degree.

May 2007 - Degree Course Moderator, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. Undergraduate Degree Social Aspects.

Nov 2006 - Oct 2007 Support Worker, Day Services Sheffield Mencap. Responsible for organising projects and activities to progress independence of 12 Mencap members with learning disabilities.

March 2005 - June 2005 Support tutor, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. Undergraduate Social Aspects course.

Oct 2004 - Dec 2004 Support tutor, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. Postgraduate Social Aspects course (MA and PhD) and Postgraduate Urban Design course (Diploma and MA).

Sept 2004 to date Research associate, ELP: RDU (Experiential Landscape Place Research and Development Unit). Preparation for funding bids, member of Sheffield University research team brought in to assist with Kirby Hill Village Design Statement.

June 2004 - Dec 2004 Research assistant, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, University of Sheffield. Role included researching and contacting potential participants that would attend, advertisement of seminar day and provision of suitable speakers and workshop

May 2004 - Aug 2004 Research assistant, Cabespace, UK. Employed on a nationwide study into finance and green space quality. Literature searches, interview assistant, transcribed and analysed to be utilised in the final report.

June 2003 Publicity designer, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. Landscape Department Degree, Diploma and Masters Exhibition artwork and publicity.

March 2003 - June 2003 Support tutor, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. Second year undergraduate course: Social Aspects of Design.

Feb 2003 Research assistant, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. Literature search service for English Heritage.

Sept 1999 - Jan 2000 Weekend carer, Sheffield. Acted in support capacity for client with Multiple sclerosis and their family, providing medical care and emotional aid.

Sept 1997 - Aug 2001 Assistant tutor, Dilston College of Further Education, Northumberland, National Mencap. Worked in a creative capacity to assist students develop life skills.

Aug 1997 - Dec 1997 Landscape design work experience placement, Garden Art, Newcastle. Assisted in the design for proposed show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Designed/ constructed series of mosaics and wrought iron work for church community garden in Gateshead.

July 1997 - Dec 1997 Waitress, Shepherd’s Dene Conference Centre, Northumberland. Employment as waitress, chambermaid and assistant gardener.

May 1996 - Dec 1996 Art room assistant, St Nicholas’ Hospital, Newcastle. Worked with mental health clients and staff on creative rehabilitation personal and group projects.

ADDITIONAL SKILLS
Computing Highly competent user of Microsoft Office and Adobe software.
First Aid Successfully completed St John’s Ambulance Life Saver Course.
Photography First in Foundation Level Black and White Photography.
Driving Full clean UK Licence.
Licence
CRB Criminal Records Enhanced Disclosure passed 2003.

INTERESTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Local LD action

Design and publicity for ‘Under the Stars’ Sheffield’s first learning disability (LD) friendly nightclub.
Awarded funding by ‘Just Do It’ (Sheffield Volunteering) for design and construction of local memorial garden for people with learning disabilities and their families who had recently lost loved ones or carers.
Participation in Sheffield LD arts festival (Colours in a Rainbow) showing films made with Mencap members.

Landscape design
Assisted in construction of a silver medal winning garden at the 2002 Tatton Park Show.
Advice in the design of many private gardens.

Community Projects
Publicity officer for Student Community Action (SCA) at Sheffield University, organised two volunteer fairs to draw attention to the volunteering opportunities available to students.
Project Leader of ‘Fairthorn’ promoting integration of students with people with learning disabilities in the local community.

   
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