Disaster and Development: an Occupational Perspective,
Edition 1
Edited by Nancy Rushford, PhD, M.Sc.OT., OT Reg. (Ont.), M.A. and Kerry Thomas, BScOT, Grad Dip

Publication Date: 15 Apr 2015

Disasters are confronting communities across the globe on a scale and intensity not previously witnessed.

Following devastating earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand, Haiti, China, Indonesia and Pakistan, hurricanes in the Philippines and USA, floods in Bangladesh, the Balkans and Canada, famine and droughts in Africa and Australia, and ferocious wildfires in Europe, USA and Australia, to epidemics, conflicts and terrorism unleashing indiscriminate suffering across all continents...


Allied health workers, including occupational therapists, are seeking ways to engage in a meaningful way...as professionals...individuals...and global citizens.

Disaster and Development is a ground breaking book that crosses cultures and contexts to provide a foundation for critical reflection on the role of occupation in disaster and development.

Drawing upon the experiences of survivors, and of practitioners, personnel from local and international organizations, researchers and academics, an occupational perspective is illuminated with implications for policy, practice and education.


WFOT - World Federation of Occupational Therapists"Timely, accessible, and reflecting the real life experiences of people who survive disaster and those that endeavour to help. At last, a unique resource that occupational therapists and others can count on in bringing about survivor-led recovery and resilience."

Frank Kronenberg (co-editor, 'Occupational Therapy without Borders')"For students and practitioners this innovative book provides practical insights and guidance to assist individuals, families and communities affected by disaster and provides an important resource for this emerging area of practice."

Key Features

  • Case studies based on field experiences, include: responses to droughts, earthquakes, wildfires, and more:; survivor stories of trauma and healing; landmine action and advocacy (from local to global); accessibility and CBR in disaster recovery; empowerment approaches with vulnerable groups
  • Practical considerations in promoting policy, practice and education
  • Covers current/emerging disaster risks and local-global reduction strategies, including climate change
  • Highlights processes, pitfalls and tips when entering the field
  • Global perspective with contributions from Australia, USA, Canada, Bangladesh, Argentina, UK, Hong Kong...
About the author
Edited by Nancy Rushford, PhD, M.Sc.OT., OT Reg. (Ont.), M.A., Director of Programs and Implementation for the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Canada and Kerry Thomas, BScOT, Grad Dip, Director, interPART (International Partners in Action, Research & Training), South Australia, Australia.
Table of Contents

About the Editors
List of Abbreviations
1.Disaster and Development: A Call to Action
Nancy Rushford, Kerry Thomas
2. Disaster, Development and Occupational Therapy: Historical Perspectives and Possibilities
Nancy Rushford, Kerry Thomas
3. Disaster Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience: An Emergent Socio-Ecological Perspective
Nancy Rushford, Kerry Thomas
4 Disaster, Daily Life and Meaning
Dikaios Sakellariou, Susann Baez Ullberg
5 Lost in the Mix: A Case for Inclusive and Participatory Approaches to Disaster and Development
Nancy Rushford

Emergency Response and Early Recovery
6 Listening to the Voices of Survivors: The Floods of 2003 in Santa Fe, Argentina
Mariá De Los Milagros Demiryi, Carla Boggio, Mariana Boffelli, Daniela Chiapessoni, Mauro Demichelis, Mariá Del Carmen Heit
7 Reflections on Haiti
Ruth Duggan
8 Living With the Bones
Rachel Thibeault
9 Cyclone Yasi: The Experience of Queenslanders without a Home
Yvonne Thomas
10 After Katrina: Stephanie’s Four-Year Struggle for Survival
Emily F. Piven
11 Wildfires: Responding to Psychological and Emotional Needs of the Community
Zoe Edmonds
12 Terrorism: A Survivor’s Story
Sue Hanisch
13 Seeking Asylum in the UK
Nick Pollard
14 Solomon’s Story
Rachel Thibeault, Marie Claude Bernard, Solomon Patray
15 The Dadaab Refugee Camps and the Voices of People with a Disability
Siyat Hillow Abdi, Brian Matthews
16 Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOS) In Disaster: Learning from their Experience
Nazmul Bari, Broja Gopal Saha
17 Accessibility Outcomes in Disaster Recovery – A Critical Concern, a Minimum Requirement or an Afterthought?
Samantha Whybrow, Catherine Bridge
18 Community-Based Rehabilitation in Colombia’s Armed Conflict
Solángel García-Ruíz
19 Landmine Action and Advocacy: From Local to Global
Rebecca Jordan
20 ‘United, We Live’: Empowering Older People through Disaster Response and Recovery
Kerry Thomas
21 Drought: Slow-Onset Disaster and its Burden upon Families
Jenny Biven
22 Supporting Community Recovery through Indigenous Engagement and the Natural Environment
Tania Simmons, Penny Scott, Chantal Roder
23 Climate Change and Children: The Need for Innovative Responses
Kerry Thomas
Entering the Field
24 Medical Assistance Teams: Reflections on Emergency Response Experience
Valerie Rzepka, Nathan Kelly
25 Drink a Dozen Cups of Tea: Lessons about Listening and Learning
Adele Perry
26 Changing Fields of Practice: Training in the Frontier Province, Pakistan
Miriam Kolker
27 Mobilizing a Therapeutic Response in a Disaster Zone, Chile 2010
Cecilia Farias Basadre
28 Reflections from Experience across the Asia-Pacific Region
Kerry Thomas, With Contributions from Various Colleagues
29 Mobilizing Occupational Therapy through Policy, Planning and Education
Kit Sinclair, Marilyn Pattison

30 An Occupational Perspective on Disaster and Development and a Conceptual Framework
Nancy Rushford, Kerry Thomas
31 Occupational Stewardship and Collaborative Engagement: A Practice Model
Nancy Rushford
32 Disaster and Development: Practical Considerations in Promoting an Occupational Perspective
Kerry Thomas, Nancy Rushford
33 Conclusion

Book Reviews

"relevant and a key resource for all who wish to take an occupational approach to practice or research"

"Disaster and Development is a ground-breaking book that crosses cultures and contexts to provide a foundation for critical reflection on the role of occupation in disaster and development." -SirReadaLot.org, July 2015, Issue #195

Book details
ISBN: 9780702040474
Page Count: 296
Retail Price : £28.99
Occupational therapists including practising therapists, occupational scientists, students and educators of occupational therapy and rehabilitation sciences