Sonali Shah

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Dr Sonali Shah is a Research Fellow in the School of Nursing at University of Birmingham. She is currently funded by a Burdett Trust award to undertake a qualitative study Eternal: UK healthcare of women with Cerebral Palsy across the female life cycle, to address the gap in existing understandings about growing older with Cerebral Palsy, and women’s health, and to highlight the health and healthcare experiences of disabled women in general, and women with CP in particular. The proposed outcome will be an educational tool for nurses, midwives and allied healthcare practitioners to understand the embodied changes experienced by girls and women with Cerebral Palsy across the life course (from menarche to menopause), and how to overcome structural and cultural barriers to healthcare services, environments and treatments, particularly in relation to reproductive and sexual health.

 Sonali has developed a series of innovative projects, supported by prestigious awards and university fellowships on disability issues across the lifecourse, education of disabled teenagers, experiences of violence against disabled women with Russell Group universities Nottingham, Leeds and Glasgow.  She has designed and adopted interdisciplinary and creative methodological and dissemination approaches (including theatre and life history methods) to ensure research engages with a diversity of stakeholders to bring an awareness of disability and social change to non-academic and young audiences; and to provide a platform for disabled people to have a voice in the development of practices and policies that impact their lives. 

Sonali currently authors 12 journal articles and 4 books including Global Perspectives of Gender, Disability & Violence (2018); Disability & Social Change: Private Lives & Public Policies (2011); Career Success of Disabled High-flyers (2005); Young Disabled People: Aspirations, Choices and Constraints (2008). She co-ordinates the international Facebook group Women Ageing with Cerebral Palsy.  She is on the editorial boards of Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research and Frontiers in Education (SEN) and a reviewer for journals Research Papers in Education and Qualitative Research. She is guest editor for a special issue on disability for the journal History of the Family, and on the management board for Disability Arts Online.

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Univ Loughborough

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Violence and disabled women, social history of disability, disability and life course