Professorial Fellowship in Disability and Social Inclusion appointed

August 15 / 164

Professor Keith McVilly has been appointed to the new Professorial Fellowship in Disability and Social Inclusion
Professor Keith McVilly has been appointed to the new Professorial Fellowship in Disability and Social Inclusion


Professor Keith McVilly has been appointed to the new Professorial Fellowship in Disability and Social Inclusion, in a partnership between disability services provider Scope and the University.


Professor McVilly’s primary area of expertise is in intellectual and developmental disability, acquired brain injury, and forensic disability. He has built his expertise working as a direct support worker with people with disability, a clinician and service manager in public health services and in private practice, as well as in the university sector in Australia, the UK and USA.


As part of his role, Professor McVilly will lead and direct Scope’s research agenda, oversee existing and new research programs, and continue to work with the disability sector more broadly. 


Professor Adrian Little, Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences said, “The University views the position of Professorial Fellow in Disability and Social Inclusion as an important means of the academic sector making a contribution to the inclusion of people with disability in our community, and harnessing research to inform national initiatives such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”


The partnership between the University and Scope has been designed to drive research to benefit people with a disability.


Scope Chief Executive Officer Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald said, “Scope’s research program is aimed at improving the lives of individuals living with disabilities and the promotion of programs that empower people. Scope’s approach has always been evidence-based and our commitment to continuous improvement and research led us to collaborate with the University of Melbourne.”


Working across the sector, with people with disability, community agencies and government, Professor McVilly will drive the development, funding and delivery of strategic research to influence policy, raise awareness of disability, and create practical outcomes for people with disabilities, their families and those providing support services. 


Professor McVilly said, “I am honoured to be appointed the Scope Professorial Fellow in Disability and Social Inclusion and I look forward to building on Scope’s vision to foster a more inclusive society.


“I have a particular interest in bridging the gap between research, policy and practice, especially as Australia embraces the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS); and in realising Bent Nirje’s vision of a society where all people are free to be themselves among others.”


As well as his role at Scope, Professor McVilly will lead the University-wide Disability Research Initiative, one of the University’s Hallmark Research Initiatives, and teach into the Masters of Social Policy within the Faculty of Arts and overseeing engagement activities.


The initiative is being developed through a number of the University’s interdisciplinary research institutes – the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute in conjunction with the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute and the Melbourne Networked Society Institute.


Prior to the appointment, Professor McVilly was a Principal Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at Deakin University. He has also worked at RMIT University, the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Studies, in the UK at the University of Wales’ Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities, and in the USA at the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Centre on Community Living.


Scope’s mission is to enable each person to live as an empowered and equal citizen, providing support to people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities and developmental delays. They provide services to over 6,000 people with a disability across 99 service locations in Victoria, and work with more than 1,800 corporate and community organisations to improve inclusiveness for people with a disability.


Story by Michelle Paterson (Scope)

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