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Prof Jill Hanass-Hancock
Senior Specialist Scientist
Contact Info
Tel: (+27) 31 2423749
PhD in Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Science from the Humboldt University in Berlin

Jill Hanass-Hancock is a Senior Specialist Scientist and hold a PhD in Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Science from the Humboldt University in Berlin. She started her career as a special educator and educational psychologist and has 10 years of on the ground experience working with young people with disabilities in schools and the NGO sector. Thereafter the dedicated hear life to research and has worked 15+ years in the field of disability and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).  She is also appointed as an honorary Professor at the UKZN School of Health Science and is an NRF C1 rated scientist.  Jill’s research focuses on the SRHR and people with disabilities using a variety of research approaches including ethnography, epidemiology, situation and policy analysis techniques and evaluations. She has lead a number of milestone disability research projects in Africa, among them the Elements of the Financial and Economic Costs of Disability, which was among the 12 best of UNICEF 2016 research projects and influenced the South African White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and which research methods are now applied in other countries.  Jill is the principal investigator and co-author of the Breaking the Silence Intervention a project which focuses on access to SRHR for people with disabilities and includes an evidence-informed curriculum innovation approach to enable educators to provide Comprehensive Sexuality Education in accessible formats. She is also known for her work to increase the participation of women with disabilities in GBV programmes (ALIGHT) and her development of disability policy audits in the space of SRHR and HIV programming in Africa. Currently she conducts studies on SRHR and vulnerable populations and how SRHR interventions need to adjust in times of crisis (Masimbambane and SRHR and COVID study)