Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Contact Details

Dr Sarah Woodin

Research Fellow

I re-entered academia to complete a PhD at Leeds after prioritising local, national and international work developing supported employment. The focus of my academic work continues to be the development of social policies away from institutional provision and in support of community Independent Living.

Research Interests

My research interests relate to disability and Independent Living in its broadest sense. In line with this, I have wider interests in social policy, employment, family and social relationships, international policy developments and research methods. Current research includes work with the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED) and I have recently completed reporting on the UK situation with regard to the fundamental rights of people with intellectual disabilities (learning difficulties) and people with mental health conditions for the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).


I have been involved in teaching since 1986. At present I coordinate the Foundation Year module Researching and Studying the Social Sciences and tutor the MA Disability Studies by Distance Learning. While at Leeds, I have taught on a wide range of sociology and social policy courses at all levels of study. I have also developed and taught emancipatory disability research methods to staff and PhD students as part of a Marie Curie (Transfer of Knowledge) Fellowship at University College Dublin.

PhD Supervision

I would be pleased to supervise students working in the area of disability and independent living.

Key Publications

Journal Articles

Woodin, Sarah L (May 2012) Disability: Western Theories. In: eLS 2012, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester http://www.els.net/ [DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005213.pub2]

Book Chapters

Woodin, S. (2013) Care: Controlling and Personalising Services, in Swain, J. French, S. Barnes C. and Thomas, C. Disabling Barriers, Enabling Environments, London: Sage


Woodin, S. (2012) Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) Research Project on the Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities and People with Mental Health Problems: Desk Report Vienna: FRA

Woodin, S., Priestley, M. and Prideaux, S. (2009) ANED Country Report on the Implementation of Policies Supporting Independent Living for Disabled People http://www.disability-europe.net/

Book Review

Woodin, S. (2010) Book Review: Job success for persons with developmental disabilities, by David B. Wiegan, forward by Ron Rush, London, Jessica Kingsley, 2009 Disability and Society 25(3) 403-410

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