Nicole Yantzi

Nicole Yantzi

Full Professor

School of the Environment
Science, Engineering and Architecture
A-251, Arts Building Sudbury Campus


I am an Associate Professor in the School of the Environment, Laurentian University. I am also a core member of the Evaluating Children’s Health Outcomes (ECHO) Research Center, faculty investigator with the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research and program faculty with the School of Rural and Northern Health. I completed my PhD at Queen's University in 2005 and my thesis research was jointly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation. I have held post-doctoral fellowships at the CIHR strategic research and training initiative in Health Care, Technology and Place (University of Toronto) and with Dr. Nancy Young in the Department of Population Health Sciences (Hospital for Sick Children). My research, teaching and advocacy work focuses on ensuring the accessibility and inclusiveness of children’s environments.


  •  Queen’s University (PhD, 2005)
  •  Queen’s University (MA, 1998)
  •  Trent University(BA Hons, 1996 )

Academic Appointments

• Associate Professor of School of the Environment

• Director of the Evaluating Children's Health Outcomes (ECHO) Research Centre, Laurentian University (Beginning July 1 2015)

• Core Member of the Evaluating Children's Health Outcomes (ECHO) Research Centre, Laurentian University

• Program Faculty with the School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University

• Faculty Investigator with the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, Laurentian University


My research focuses on the daily environments of children and youth with disabilities and their families. One part of this research program explores how the policies, designs and organization of homes, schools, and neighbourhoods can impact the participation of children and youth with disabilities. I have lead the development of a School Accessibility Tool© (the SAT) which has been endorsed by a local group of youth with disabilities. Another area of focus is including children and youth with disabilities as active research participants and recognizing that they have important ideas for change. I have worked collaboratively with school boards, service providers and municipalities, and children and families to evaluate and improve the accessibility and inclusiveness of children’s built environments. My research is published in the journals Social Science and Medicine; Health and Social Care in the Community; Gender, Place and Culture; Children’s Geographies; Children, Youth and Environment; International Journal for Equity in Health; Disability and Rehabilitation; Child: Care, Health and Development.

Research Grants

• May 2014- May 2016. Principal Investigator, Laurentian University Research Fund (LURF), ($4,898.50) Grant Title: Why are you playing at Ridgecrest today?: Exploring the use characteristics of an inclusive neighbourhood park in Sudbury Ontario.

• March 2014- March 2015. Co- Principal Investigator, Louise Picard Public Health Research Grant (LPPHRG), ($4,946.00) Grant Title: Examining residents’ viewpoints of the impacts of Ridgecrest Playground on their physical, social and psychological health (Co-PI: M. Hood)

• November 2013-December 2014. Co-Principal- Investigator, CIHR Planning Grant, ($24865) Grant Title: Children's Health Research Integration Stimulus Program (CHRISP):Community- Based Research Collaborations in North-Eastern Ontario (Co PI: D. Coholic, CIs: A. Gauthier, S. Laroque, S. Ritchie, A. Roy-Charland, N. Young)

• September 2013-September 2014. Co-Investigator. Catalyst grant, Bloorview Research Institute (BRI) / Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation et integration sociale (CIRRIS), ($22 500) Grant Title: Exploring how youth with a mobility disability experience Canadian winter: Implications for participants, inclusion and design solutions. (Co PIs: S. Lindsay and E. Morales, CIs: G. Edwards, L. Howell, C. Vincent)

• 2013-2014. Co-Investigator. Small Grant Canadian Center of Disability Studies, ($5000) Grant Title: Exploring the Role of Canadian Winter on the Participation and Inclusion of Youth with Physical Disabilities: A Pilot Study. (PI: S. Lindsay)


  • The Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities Research Special Interest Group Professional Award for Excellence in Research, April 2014.
  •  Student Choice Award. Laurentian University Centre for Academic Excellence. October 2013.
  • Certificate of Appreciation from Center for Academic Excellence, Laurentian University “for tireless contribution and dedication to student success”, April 2012, April 2013, April 2014.


My area of focus is the relationships between human health and people’s daily environments. I have worked co-operatively with the Director of the School of Architecture at Laurentian University to ensure that all the architecture students graduating from Laurentian University will have a full understanding of the importance of inclusive built environments. An important part of this is a newly developed second year course entitled “(Dis)abilities and Inclusive Built Environments” which architecture students will be encouraged to take. This course will be offered every other year.

Courses Taught


ENVI 2546: (Dis) abilities and Inclusive Built Environments

ENVI 3656: Field Class- Qualitative Methods Module

ENVI: 4737 Selected Topics- Children and their Environments

ENVI: 4736: Vulnerabilities and Environment in Developing Countries ENVI 2536: Environment and Human Health


• Yantzi, N.M., Young, N.L., and McKeever, P. 2010. “The suitability of school playgrounds for physically disabled children”. Children’s Geographies. 8, 1, 65-78. DOI: 10.1080/14733281003650984

• Yantzi, N.M. 2012. Guest Field Note : Measuring accessibility, in Fouberg, E.H., Murphy, A.B., de Blij, H.J., Nash, C.J. (eds) Human Geography : People, Place and Culture. John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd, 109-110.

• Joseph GM, Skinner MW, and Yantzi N.M. 2013. “The weather stains of care: Interpreting the meaning of bad weather for front-line health care workers in rural long-term care”. Social Science and Medicine. 91, 194-201. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.08.009

• Cohen, E., Yantzi, N., Guan, J. Lam, K. and Guttman, A. 2013. “Residential movement patterns of families of young children with chronic conditions in Ontario, Canada: a population-based cohort study”. International Journal for Equity in Health. 12, 62-20. DOI: 10.1186/1475-9276-12-62

• Doherty, S.T. , McKeever, P., Aslam, H., Stephens, L., and Yantzi, N. 2014 “Use of GPS tracking to interactively explore disabled children’s mobility and accessibility patterns”. Children, Youth and Environments. 24, 1, 1-24.

• Lindsay, S. and Yantzi, N. 2014. “Weather, disability, vulnerability, and resilience: exploring how youth with physical disabilities experience winter”. Disability and Rehabilitation: An International and Multidisciplinary Journal. 36, 2195–2204. DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.892158

• Yantzi, N.M. 2015. Guest Field Note : The Importance of Accessible and Inclusive Spaces in the Lives of Children with Disabilities, in Fouberg, E.H., Murphy, A.B., de Blij, H.J., Nash, C.J. (eds) Human Geography : People, Place and Culture. John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.

• Lindsay, S., Morales, E., Yantzi, N., Vincent, C., Howell, L. and Edwards. G. 2015. “The experiences of participating in winter among youths with a physical disability compared with their typically developing peers”. Child: Care, Health and Development. [E pub ahead of print]

• Coons, K.D., Watson, S.L., Yantzi, N.M and Schinke, R.J. 2015. “Adaptation in families raising children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder part I: what has helped”. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability. (In press)

• Stephens, L., Scott, H., Aslam, H.,Yantzi, N., Young, N., Ruddick, S. and McKeever, P. 2015 The Accessibility of Elementary Schools: Not making the grade. Children, Youth and Environment. (In press)