Oksana Hlyva is a research coordinator at CanChild. Over the course of 9 years, she has worked on several mixed-method and qualitative studies. These includes the TRACE Study (a longitudinal across-condition study focusing on educational interventions for youth transitioning into adulthood), the MyStory Study and Lifecourse Study (both engaging adults with cerebral palsy in participatory research and reflections on their lived experience, multiple identities, and healthy living), the ASCF-SC study (adapting social communication function classification system for children who have autism through usability testing with families and clinicians), and most recently, the APPLYIT Study (a feasibility randomized control trial with a qualitative arm exploring user experiences with a smart-phone-based MyTransition app).
Her educational background—Master’s in Science (Higher Education) and Doctor of Philosophy (English/Rhetoric and Professional Communication)—increasingly inform her research praxis and interactions with study participants. In particular, she is excited to see emerging interdisciplinary cross-pollinations permitting space for post-critical approaches to difference, (in)dependence, and ethics of representation in research discourses. These approaches are useful when wrestling with the ongoing questions of how to best represent—write about/write with—those who may need empowerment and how to promote capacities for healthy living amongst those who need support navigating and negotiating their complex intersectional identities.
Another shaping force for her work comes from being a parent. She is a mother to a teen with very strong critical thinking skills and an equally strong-willed bright 7-year-old who happens to have Down Syndrome and is an epitome of Elsa from Frozen. It is her parenting role that made her embrace social media quite earnestly. Oksana belongs and actively participates in various Facebook communities, including Parents Partnering in Research and Down Syndrome Health and Research, as well as occasionally tweets and retweets @GoDSresearch to promote more inclusive research.
Areas of Focus
Family-researcher partnerships, knowledge translation, family-centred care, health research, transitions, user-centred design, identity and empowerment
Consistent with best practice guidelines for transition developed in Ontario, the study seeks ways to improve health service delivery to youth in transition and, in so doing, to address this important contemporary health challenge.