Colleen McGrath, PhD

Colleen McGrath

Associate Professor

Room 2541, Elborn College
519 661-2111 x81174


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences)
  • PhD (Western)
  • MSc Occupational Therapy (McMaster)
  • BA Health Studies and Gerontology (McMaster)

Supervising Graduate Students

  • Yes

Research Interests

  • Age-related vision loss (ARVL)
  • Neighbourhood and environmental influences on occupational engagement for older adults
  • Risk in older adulthood
  • Intersections of ageism and ableism in shaping older adults' identities
  • Technology adoption patterns in later life

Additional Information

Recent Publications

  • Benjamin-Thomas, TE., Corrado, AM., McGrath, C., Laliberte Rudman, D., & Hand, C. (2018). Working towards the Promise of Participatory Action Research: Learning from Ageing Research Exemplars. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17(1), 1-13.
  • Corrado, AM., Benjamin-Thomas, TE., McGrath, C., Hand, C., & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2019). Participatory action research with older adults: A critical interpretive synthesis. The Gerontologist, 60(5), 413-427.
  • McGrath, C., Molinaro, M., Sheldrake, E., Laliberte Rudman, D., & Astell, A. (2019). A protocol paper on the preservation of identity: Understanding the technology adoption patterns of older adults with age-related vision loss (ARVL). International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1-8.
  • Hand, C., Laliberte Rudman, D., McGrath, C., Donnelly, C., Sands, M. (2019). Initiating Participatory Action Research with Older Adults: Lessons Learned through Reflexivity. Canadian Journal on Aging, 38(4), 512-520.
  • Astell, A., McGrath, C., & Dove, E. (2019). “That’s for old so and so’s!”: Does identity influence older adults’ technology adoption decisions? Ageing & Society, 40(7), 1550-1576.
  • McGrath, C., & Corrado, AM. (2019). The environmental factors that influence technology adoption for older adults with age-related vision loss. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82(8), 493-501.

Current Projects

  • A photo-elicitation study with older adults with age-related vision loss (ARVL): A focus on risk (FHS Catalyst Grant, 2020-2021)
  • Enacting a critical participatory action research process with older adults aging with vision loss: A focus on community mobility (SSHRC Insight Grant, 2020-2025)

Featured Projects/Publications

  • McGrath, C., & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2019). Using participant observation to enable critical understandings of disability in later life: An illustration conducted with older adults with low vision. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1-11.
  • McGrath, C., & Corrado, AM. (2019). Psychological adaptation strategies to support engagement: A metasynthesis of vision loss research. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 86(5), 377-387.

Teaching Areas

  • Low vision rehabilitation
  • Problem-based learning
  • Environmental adaptation and assistive technology to support occupational engagement


  • 2017-2020: Faculty of Health Science Award for Teaching Excellence

Professional Activities

  • 2020-Present: Item Generation Coordinator, National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE) for the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
  • 2016-Present: Member, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) Occupational Therapy and Vision Rehabilitation Network (OTVRN) Research sub-committee and Education sub-committee
  • 2016-Present: Member, Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT) Senior Advisory Committee (SAC)