Joanne is a full time Phd student at Tizard Centre.
Joanne works as a Registered Intermediary to assess and advise on the communication needs of vulnerable children and adults within the criminal justice system, specialising in the areas of learning disability, autism and ADHD. She has also been a Lay Magistrate in Youth and Family courts in Northern Ireland for the past 12 years. Following the completion of a Masters and Diploma in Social Work through Queens University, Belfast in 2001, Joanne spent a year working on a community stigma elimination programme through a leprosy hospital in Nepal and then 14 years as a Family Worker and Participation Worker for Positive Futures, a charity for people with learning disabilities, autism and brain injury. Joanne’s main areas of work were: using Person Centred Practice to assess and meet the needs of individuals and their families (children and older carers); developing the voice of individuals and groups within the decision-making processes and governance of the organisation, including setting up a Trustee Advisory Board; developing person centred plans using technology; advocacy; and group work. She is also a voluntary member of a micro-board for an adult with a severe learning disability.
Her PhD study focuses on the use of communication with people with learning disabilities and/or autism in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. Her research study combines her interests and experiences in the criminal justice system and a passion for working with people with learning disabilities and autism.