Photo of Margaret Janse van Rensburg

Margaret Janse van Rensburg

PhD student

MSW (Carleton University),
G. Cert: Autism and Behaviour Sciences (George Brown College)
BA Hons. Archaeology and Medieval Studies (Wilfrid Laurier University)

About me:
I am currently situated in Ottawa, Ontario on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin and Anishinaabe peoples. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology and Medieval Studies, and a Graduate Certificate in Autism and Behaviour Sciences. I completed my Master of Social Work at Carleton University and am a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. I find community and leisure in movement: regularly lifting weights, swimming, and practicing yoga.

Why I chose Carleton:
I chose Carleton because of the support that I received during my Master in Social Work, which I continue to get throughout my doctorate. At Carleton, I have been intellectually challenged, well-supported financially, and found community in the School of Social work, in the Carleton community, and in Ottawa.

My research:
My proposed research will ask: 1) Where do Ontario social workers gain their knowledge about autism? 2) What sources, resources, and knowledge bases are promising avenues for transferring knowledge which promotes equitable, engaged service provision for autistic persons? And 3) How can these sources, resources, and knowledge bases be used in social work education programs and continuing education programs?

The goals of this research are to 1) understand knowledge procurement in social workers and, 2) improve strategies of social work pedagogy in order to promote autistic-centred knowledge of autism. The objectives of this research are to 1) Explore where social workers currently gain knowledge about autism; 2) Synthesize how social work educators can use this information for promoting better practice.

Research Interests:
My research interests are diverse but centre around: the social model of disability, autistic self-determination, sexual violence prevention, eating disorders, and body size, shape, weight, and image. I am currently engaged in a few research projects, notably as a Research Assistant for the “Oral histories of activists in the disability rights movement (1970 and 2020)” project under the supervision of Dr. Therese Jennissen and Dr. Dominique Marshall; as a Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Miranda Brady for multiple projects surrounding autism and representation; and learning quantitative methods through a directed study explore disability and employment using secondary quantitative methods with Dr. Dennis Kao.