Katja Valkama PhD
Katja Valkama is principal lecturer at Häme University of Applied Sciences. Katja has specialized in social services and welfare systems and is an expert in autism spectrum disorders, especially how to support people with ASD in everyday life.
In her PhD thesis Katja studied the role of the customer orclient in Finnish social and health care. The main focus was on the most disadvantaged and marginalised people. She also has a degree in youth work. (She is doctor of administrative sciences and master of social sciences.)
Katja has worked on several projects, developing welfare services for families and people with disabilities or autism spectrum disorders. She has participated in different research projects, but her main focus has always been on those who are often considered the most marginalised in one way or another. Current research projects involve participation, the implementation of citizen’s juries and institutionalised care practices in housing for people with learning disabilities.
Katja is a member of a local committee planning the deinstitutionalisation of people with learning disabilities. She is also the chair of the local association of autism spectrum, Autismin kirjon pohjalaiset ry, which is also a member of the Finnish Association for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Her family has been a support family for other families with a person with ASD since 2005. Katja is also a board member for The Finnish Society for Disability Research.
Katja lives in a small town of Jurva in Western Finland with her family; husband and three children. She enjoys reading, movies, music, travelling, experimental cooking, good food and excellent wine. Everything gets better when you get to share those things with friends. The best place for her to rewind is the family cottage by a quiet little lake.