Paul Tai Yip Ng Memorial Award

Paul Tai Yip Ng Memorial Award 2021: Vanessa Fong

March 04, 2022

"A Community-engaged Approach to Examining Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing Autism Services in Korean Immigrant Families" by Vanessa Fong

Congratulations to Ms. Vanessa Fong, who won our 2021 Best Graduate Student Paper award

Vanessa is currently a PhD student in the Developmental Psychology program at SFU. She received her BSc in Psychology at the University of Toronto and her MSc in Child Development at University College London (Institute of Education). Her research focuses on understanding quality of life and service navigation in families of autistic children from racialized and underserved communities. The current paper addresses a significant gap in the literature by adopting a community engaged approach to explore the facilitators and barriers Korean families experience accessing health care and social services for their child in British Columbia. The findings shed light on how to address service inequities and support families in ways that are congruent with their culture and values. Additionally, this research emphasizes the importance of policies and practices that better meet the needs of a diverse population including those at the intersection of disability, race, and ethnicity. Throughout her graduate studies Vanessa has become deeply committed to community engagement and knowledge translation. She has collaborated with non-profit organizations, policymakers, and autistic individuals and their families to identify potential solutions aimed at improving access to services and overall quality of life. Vanessa would like to acknowledge and thank her supervisor Dr. Grace Iarocci and her community partner Dr. Bo Sang Lee for their mentorship and unwavering support throughout this project and her doctoral studies.