Rebecca Gewurtz

Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University

Hub 2 - Employment Support Systems

Rebecca Gewurtz is an occupational therapist and Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University and Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Work and Health. She is IDEA’s Director and co-lead of Hub 2, Employment Support Systems.

Gewurtz’s research focuses on work disability policy, income insecurity and employment among persons living with disabilities, with a focus on mental illness and other episodic disabilities. She has been examining the experiences of various stakeholders including people with disabilities, service providers, co-workers and employers as people with disabilities are hired and accommodated in diverse workplaces, as well as the impact and coordination of income security benefits.

She holds a PhD and an MSc in rehabilitation science from the University of Toronto. She also holds a BSc (Hons) in occupational therapy from Queen’s University. Gewurtz completed a collaborative program through the CHSRF/CIHR Training Centre in Health Services and Policy Research.

"What brought me to this work is my background as an occupational therapist and my experience working in this space where our focus has traditionally been on skilling up and supporting the individual living with disabilities. I have come to realize how limiting it can be to have workplaces that are designed for a specific kind of worker. Furthermore, as a parent to three children who have a lot to offer the world of work but who have also encountered barriers because of their unique abilities and limitations. I am interested in contributing to building healthy and inclusive workplaces in Canada where we can leverage the talents and abilities that each person offers. I am interested in identifying and disseminating effective strategies and supports, and creating an employment support sector that helps people find, keep and advance in jobs that are well matched to their skills, competencies, talents and ambitions."