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Bob Sapey

Formerly at Lancaster University

Bob Sapey

PhD supervision

Disability studies


Career details

I have been at Lancaster since October 1999 prior to which I worked for six years in the Social Work Department of the University of Central Lancashire. Previously I held a variety of social work posts in Cornwall including residential, field, training and care management, though specialising in work with older people and disabled people.

Research Interests

My current research is focussed on voice hearing and the implications of social explanations for this experience for social work practice. 

My research has been concerned with the relationship between social workers and disabled people in the provision of support services. I have also studied the use of technology within social work and the impact this has on practice.  

I am a member of the Centre for Disabuility Research (CeDR) at Lancaster University an am currently one of its co-directors. Full details of CeDR and its work are available at www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/centres/cedr.

My current work includes:

Lancaster Disability Studies Conferences. I am co-organizer (with Hannah Morgan) of this biennial international disability studies conference that has been held at Lancaster University in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. The next conference will be from 11-13th September 2012. For more information and to access the conference archive, see the Conference website.

I am chair of the Advisory Group for the Mental Health in Higher Education (mhhe) project, which aims to enhance learning and teaching about mental well-being and ill-health across the disciplines in UK higher education.The mhhe Project Director (Jill Anderson) is based at the University of Cumbria. MHHE was a partnership between five subject centres of the Higher Education Academy: Social Policy and Social Work; Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine; Psychology; Health Sciences and Practice; Education; and the two Centres for Excellence in Learning and Teaching about Mental Health at: The University of Birmingham and Middlesex University.

I am co-author with Michael Oliver of the 2nd and 3rd editions (1999 and 2006) of Social Work with Disabled People, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

The 2nd edition was translated into complex Chinese in 2004 (Psychological Publishing Co., Taiwan) and into simplified Chinese in 2009 (China Renmin University Press, Beijing).

The 3rd edition was translated into Japanese (Kongo, Tokyo) and is due to be translated into Korean (Sigma Press Inc., Seoul).

The 4th edition was also co-authored by Dr Pam Thomas and was published in 2012.


Current Teaching

ASSC 103 The Contested Nature of Social Work

ASSC 108 Social Work and Mental Health

ASSC 425 Social Work and Mental Health

  • Published

    Madness, distress and the politics of disablement

    Spandler, H. (Editor), Anderson, J. (Editor) & Sapey, B. (Editor), 16/06/2015, Bristol: The Policy Press. 320 p.

    Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

  • Published

    Listening to voice hearers

    Sapey, R. & Bullimore, P., 11/2013, In: Journal of Social Work. 13, 6, p. 616-632 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Published

    Managing Technology

    Sapey, R., 2013, Key Concepts in Social Work Practice. Worsley, A., Mann, T., Olsen, A. & Mason-Whitehead, E. (eds.). London: Sage

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

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