Judy MacDonald

Director, Professor


Email: judy.macdonald@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1347
Fax: 902-494-6709
Mailing Address: 
School of Social Work
Dalhousie University
Suite 3240, Mona Campbell Building,
1459 LeMarchant Street
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Anti-oppressive practice
  • Disability
  • Feminist counselling
  • Women's Health


  • BSW, St.Thomas
  • MSW, Carleton
  • PhD, MUN

Research Interests

  • (dis)Ability
  • Accessible and inclusive post-secondary education
  • Health, women’s health
  • Anti-oppressive theory and practice
  • Violence against women
  • Feminist counselling


Judy E. MacDonald has been at the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University since August 1999. Prior to coming to Dalhousie she taught at St. Thomas University from 1990 to 1999. Her social work practice experience was based in hospital social work and private practice where she focused upon palliative care, grief and bereavement, and woman abuse. Judy identifies as a woman with a (dis)Ability, having lived with chronic pain for over 25 years. A great deal of her scholarship focuses upon access and inclusion within post-secondary institutions for students with (dis)Abilities. Judy has been instrumental in crafting and promoting an Accommodation Policy for the School, and she co-chairs the Faculty of Health Professions’ Affirmative Action Committee. She has been co-chair of the CASWE Persons with Disability Caucus for a number of years, and she currently is on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Social Work Review journal. Judy teaches courses within the BSW and MSW, distance and campus programs that focus upon anti-oppressive theory and practice, health systems and health care, (dis)Ability policy and practice, and life processes. Her research methods have predominantly been qualitative, specifically narrative and autoethnography, and quantitative survey methods.  Her fundamental belief is that social work education has to be accessible, whereby students with (dis)Abilities are included and welcomed. 

Research Projects

  • Survey research re Disability inclusion within Schools of Social Work in Canada, United States, and the United Kingdom. Co-researchers: Irene Carter, University of Windsor, and Roy Hanes, Carleton University.
  • MacDonald, J. (2006). “(dis)Ability Inclusion in Social Work Education.” Centre for Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University, (2006) Teaching and Learning with Technology Grant, $3,500.
  • Beagan, B., Loppie, C., Stadnyk, R., MacDonald, J., MacDonald, N. (2003 - 05). “Healthy Balance Research Project: Phase IV Caregiver Portraits.” CIHR Community Alliance for Health Research, $1,170,000.
  • Karabanow, J., Thomas Bernard, W., Campbell, C., Fay, J., MacDonald, J., MacDonald, N. “Creating a Community Through Distance Education.” Centre for Teaching and Learning, Dalhousie University, $1,000.
  • Karabanow, J., Thomas Bernard, W., Harbison J. Brown, C., Ungar, M., Campbell, C., MacDonald, N., MacDougall, G., MacDonald J. (Jan 2002). “Exploring the On-Line Education Revolution.” Office of Instructional Development and Technology. Dalhousie University, $1,000.

Selected Publications

  • Irene Carter, Roy Hanes and Judy MacDonald guest edited a volume of Professional Development: International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, Volume 18, Number 2 - focusing on Preparing Social Work Professionals to Work with Persons with Disabilities.
  • MacDonald, J. (forthcoming). Chapter Eight: Intersectionality and (dis)Ability. In J. Robertson and G. Larson (Eds.), Disability, Society and Social Change. Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood Publishing.
  • Hanes, R., Carter, I., MacDonald, J., McMurphy, S., and Skinner, S. (2015). Exploring social work and disability in US schools of social work. Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, (18)2.
  • MacDonald, J., Carter, I., Hanes, R., Skinner, S. McMurphy, S. (2014). Disability and social work education in the United Kingdom. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 3(3), 53-82.
  • Myers, M., MacDonald, J., Jacquard, S., and Macneil, M. (2014). (dis)Ability and education: One woman’s experience. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 27(1), 75-89.
  • MacDonald, J., and Bernard, W. (2014). Identity, inclusion and citizenship: Handling diverse identities in social work curricula. In L. Dominilli and M. Mossa-Mitha (Eds.), Reconfiguring Citizenship: Social exclusion and diversity within inclusive citizenship practices, pp. 231-240. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing.
  • Carter, I., Hanes, R. and MacDonald, J. (2012). Trials and Tribulations of the Persons with Disability Caucus of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.  Canadian Disabilities Studies Journal, 1(1), 109 – 142.
  • Levoie, C., MacDonald, J., and Whitmore, E. (2010). Methods for understanding, learning and social justice. In I. Shaw, K. Briar-Lawson, J. Orme & R. Ruckdeschal (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Social Work Research, pp. 298 – 314. London, UK:  Sage Publications.
  • MacDonald, J. and Friars, G. (2010). Structural Social Work from a (dis)Ability Perspective. In S. Hicks, H. Peters, T. Corner, & T. London (Eds.), Structural Social Work in Action, pp. 138 – 156. Toronto: ON: Canadian Scholars Press.
  • Dunn, Peter, Hanes, Roy, Hardie, Susan, Leslie, Don and MacDonald, Judy. (2008). Best practices in promoting disability inclusion within Canadian Schools of Social Work. Disability Studies Quarterly, 28(1).
  • MacDonald, Judy. (2008). Anti-oppressive practices with chronic pain sufferers.  Social Work in Health Care, 47(2), 135 – 156.
  • MacDonald, Nancy and MacDonald, Judy.  (2007). Reflections of a Mi’kmaq social worker on a quarter of a century work in First Nations child welfare. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 3(1), 34 – 45.