Rooshey Hasnain is a visiting clinical assistant professor with UIC’s Asian American Studies Program, a LEND faculty member, and project director of the Asians with Disabilities Outreach Project Think-Tank at the Center for Capacity Building on Minorities in Disabilities Research, which is part of the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Her primary interest is understanding the lives, challenges, and strengths of people with disabilities, especially those from refugee and immigrant backgrounds, and developing innovative and culturally relevant service models to address their needs. In more than 15 years of professional work in disability and rehabilitation, she has focused on finding ways to bridge the cross-cultural service gap between U.S. disability service systems and hard-to-reach individuals with disabilities and their families. Her work on systems-change initiatives has developed community-centered advocacy and leadership initiatives for immigrants and refugees with disabilities and their families, communities, and systems.
She has served as a liaison with local and national grassroots multicultural agencies, advocacy groups, policy makers, academic institutions, and funders in developing innovative projects that reduce disparities and promote cultural competency in disability and rehabilitation service systems. With the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange in Buffalo, New York, Dr. Hasnain conducted training workshops in cultural brokering for providers in the fields of vocational rehabilitation, mental health, and traumatic brain injury. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and monographs on cross-cultural disability issues relating to newcomer groups. She serves on the boards of several grassroots and state-level organizations that address disability inclusion and transformative movements in traditionally undeserved and hard-to-serve communities.