Photo of Xuan Thuy  Nguyen

Xuan Thuy Nguyen

Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies & the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies

Phone:613-520-2600 x 5042
Office:1317 Dunton Tower

Research Interests

Dr. Xuan Thuy Nguyen’s research examines the ways girls and women with disabilities in the global South participate in research to claim their rights. Nguyen leads a transnational project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) [2016-20], entitled Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism (TDKRA). This project aims to challenge gaps of knowledge on girls with disabilities within existing research on disability studies, inclusive education, human rights, and girlhood studies by connecting knowledge, research, and activism for their inclusion.


Nguyen’s project uses the notions of access, accessibility, and inclusion as a key framework for understanding the politics of inclusion and exclusion. Accessibility is broadly theorized as a precondition for the democratic participation of disabled, queer, transgendered, women, children, and racialized people into public institutions. It is a human rights principle which requires society to tackle not only physical but also attitudinal, structural, and institutional barriers to participation, as well as to the social relations produced through the creation of access and the lack thereof.

Nguyen has worked in partnership with her colleagues from the University of Guelph and Disabled People’s Organizations in the global South to examine barriers to inclusion and accessibility for disabled women and girls. Nguyen also teaches accessibility issues in her undergraduate course, Disability studies: Policy and Activism.

Selected Publications

Stienstra, D. & Nguyen, X. T. (in press). Opening to the Possible: Girls and Women with Disabilities Engaging in Vietnam. In Wiebe, S. M. & L. Levac (Eds.). Creating spaces for engagement. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism (TDKRA). (2019). Our Journey (video production).