Dr Brigit Mirfin-Veitch
Dr Brigit Mirfin-Veitch is the Director of the Donald Beasley Institute (DBI). The DBI is an independent charitable trust that conducts research and education in the field of learning (intellectual) disability, which is based in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Post Graduate Nursing Studies, University of Otago.
As a sociologist Brigit has a strong interest in understanding the social lives of people with learning disability and is committed to initiating and achieving social change through research.
Since 2011, Brigit has been focused on research and education in the legal system and has received funding from the New Zealand Law Foundation to conduct three individual projects that have all contributed to an overarching goal of promoting access to justice for people with learning disabilities.
One of these projects was designed to explore the experiences of people with learning disabilities in legal proceedings. Since conducting this research Brigit has been working to translate and disseminate findings to encourage more responsive policy and legal practice. Findings generated through this research have informed judicial education in New Zealand since 2015. The research also underpins her most recent initiative, a national, online resource for legal professionals. This collaborative project offers freely accessible “best practice guidelines” and case law examples of reasonable accommodations that justice and legal professionals can refer to when working with individuals who may experience difficulty in accessing their right to justice.