Colleen McGrath, PhD

Colleen McGrath

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

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

  • McGrath, C., Ellis, M., Harney-Levine, S., Wright, D., Williams, L., Hwang, F., Archer, L., & Astell, A. (2017). Investigating the enabling factors influencing Occupational Therapists’ adoption of assisted living technology. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 80, 668-675.
  • McGrath, C., Sidhu, K., & Mahl, H. (2017). Interventions to support the occupational engagement of older adults with age-related vision loss (ARVL): Findings from a scoping review. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 35, 1-17.
  • McGrath, C., Laliberte Rudman, D., Spafford, M., Trentham, B., & Polgar, J. (2017). Environmental barriers and the production of disability for seniors with age-related vision loss (ARVL): A critical ethnographic study. Canadian Journal on Aging, 36, 1-12.
  • Grenier, A., Barken, R., McGrath, C. (2016). Homelessness and Aging: The contradictory ordering of ‘house’ and 'home.' Journal of Aging Studies, 39, 73-80
  • Laliberte Rudman, D., Gold, D., McGrath, C., Zuvela, B., Spafford, M., Renwick, R. (2016). “Why would I want to go out?” The process of negotiating social participation amongst Canadian older adults with age-related vision loss. Canadian Journal on Aging, 35, 465-478
  • Grenier, A., Griffin, M., & McGrath, C. (2016). Aging and Disability: The paradoxical positions of the chronological life course. The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 12, 11-27
  • McGrath, C., & Astell, A. (2017). The benefits and barriers to technology acquisition: Understanding the decision-making processes of older adults with age-related vision loss (ARVL). British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 80, 1-9
  • McGrath, C., Laliberte Rudman, D., Polgar, J., Spafford, M., & Trentham, B. (2016). Negotiating ‘positive’ aging in the presence of age-related vision loss (ARVL): The shaping and perpetuation of disability. Journal of Aging Studies, 39, 1-10.
  • McGrath, C., Laliberte Rudman, D., Trentham, B., Polgar, J., & Spafford, M. (2016). Re-shaping understandings of disability associated with age-related vision loss (ARVL): Incorporating critical disability perspectives into research and practice. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-9.
  • Laliberte Rudman, D., Egan, M., McGrath, C., Kessler, D., Gardner, P., Ceci, C., & King, J. (2016). Low vision rehabilitation, age-related vision loss and risk: A critical interpretive synthesis. The Gerontologist, 56, 32-45.

Research Affiliations

  • AGE-WELL (Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life)
  • Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

Teaching Areas

  • Low vision rehabilitation
  • Evidence based practice in Occupational Therapy
  • Technology and aging

Professional Activities

  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT), Member
  • Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG), Member
  • CAOT Occupational Therapy Low Vision Rehabilitation Network, Member