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Prof Theresa Lorenzo

Prof Theresa Lorenzo

Professor, Programme Convenor for Disability Studies Doctoral Programme, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.


  • PG Diploma Higher Education Studies (UCT) 2014
  • PhD in Public Health, UCT (2005) Thesis title: W e don't see ourselves as different: A web of possibilities for disabled women.
  • MSc in Community Disability Studies. University of London (1993) Thesis title: Evaluation of Community Based Rehabilitation programmes in South Africa.
  • Higher Diploma for Educators of Adults, Univers ity of Witwatersrand (1993).
  • BSc (Occupational Therapy), University of Witwatersrand (1985).

Expertise and teaching area

Community based rehabilitation, Disability Studies - Community based development and project monitoring, Disability and Citizenship research interests.

  • Disability and development in rural and impoverished communities Disabled youth and sustainable livelihoods.
  • Participatory action research on disabled women's development.
  • Evaluation of CBR programmes in African countries.


Tel: +27 21 406 6326
Reception: +27 21 406 6401
Email: Prof Theresa Lorenzo

Publications (last 8 years)

Peer-reviewed journals

Lorenzo, Theresa and Joubert, Robin (2010 online; 2011) Reciprocal capacity building for collaborative disability research between disabled people's organizations, communities and higher education institutions Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Heap, Marion, Lorenzo, Theresa, & Thomas, Jacky (2009) "We've moved away from disability as a health issue, it's a human rights issue" : Reflecting on 10 years of the right to equality in South Africa. Disability and Society.

Lorenzo, T. (Guest editor) (2010) The right to rehabilitation: from policy development to implementation SAJOT Special edition. March vol 40 no 1 p1.

Engelbracht, M and Lorenzo, T. (2010) Exploring the tensions of sustaining economic empowerment of persons with disabilities through open labour market employment in the Cape Metropole. SAJOT Special issue. March vol 40 no 1 p8-11.

Lorenzo, T. (2008) Editorial: Thinking about how occupational therapists can promote the human rights of vulnerable groups. Special edition - Disability: a human rights perspective. SAJOT. Vol 38, No 1, p2 March, ISBN 00382337.

Lorenzo, T. (2008) "We are also travellers": An action story about disabled women mobilising for an accessible public transport system in Khayelitsha and Nyanga, Cape Metropole, South Africa. SAJOT. Vol 38, No 1, p32-40, March, ISBN 00382337.

Lorenzo, T., Van Niekerk, L. & Mdlokolo, P. (2007) Economic empowerment and black disabled entrepreneurs: Negotiating partnerships in Cape Town, South Africa. Disability and Rehabilitation. March; 29(5), pp.429-436,.

Van Niekerk L; Lorenzo T; Mdolokolo P (2006) Understanding partnerships in developing disabled entrepreneurs: a complex journey of discovery and shared learning. Disability and Rehabilitation. 28 (5): 323 - 331.

Lorenzo, T. (2003) No African Renaissance Without Disabled Women: A New Way Of Looking At Social And Economic Development Of Disabled Women In South Africa. Disability and Society. 18, (6) 759-778. October.


Lorenzo, T., Duncan, M., Buchanan, H. and Alsop, A. (editors) (2006) Practice and service learning in occupational therapy: Enhancing potential in context. 288 pages. London: John Wiley Publishers. ISBN 0-470-01969-7.

Watermeyer, B., Swartz, L., Lorenzo, T. , Schneider, M. and Priestley, M. (editors) 2006 Disability and social change: A South African agenda Cape Town: HSRC. 432 pages. ISBN 0-7969-2137-9 - (See table of contents of both books for specific chapters).

Lorenzo, T., Saunders, C., January, M. and Mdlokolo, P. (eds) (2002) On the road of hope: Stories told by disabled women in Khayelitsha. Cape Town: Division of Occupational Therapy, University of Cape Town.

Chapters in books

Lorenzo, T (2008) Mobilising action of disabled women in developing contexts to tackle poverty and development. In Willard and Spackman's Occupational Therapy. (edited by E. Crepeau, Cohn, E.S.,& Boyt Schell, B.A.) Lippincott, USA Chapter 16; ISBN10: 0-7817-6004-6; ISBN13: 978-0-7817-6004-6.

Duncan, M., Buchanan, H. and Lorenzo, T. 2005 Politics in Occupational Therapy Education: A South African Perspective. In Spirit of Survivors: occupational therapists without borders (edited by S.S. Algado, F. Kronenberg and N. Pollard) Elsevier: UK p390-401 ISBN 0-443-07440-2.

Lorenzo, T. (2004) Equalising opportunities for occupational engagement: disabled women's stories. In Transformation through occupation (edited by R. Watson and L. Swartz) London and Philadelphia: Whurr Publishers. 85-102. ISBN 1 86 156 425 2.

Lorenzo, T. and Cloete, L. (2004) Promoting occupations in rural communities. In Transformation through occupation (edited by R. Watson and L. Swartz) London and Philadelphia: Whurr Publishers. 268-286. ISBN 1 86 156 425 2.