Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Transformational Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Wolfmeyer

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew Miness

Third Advisor

Dr. Diane King


The concept of disability and how it is perceived varies based on one’s own understanding, prior experiences, position, and interactions with others. By adding the variable of employment into the equation, perceptions surrounding disability can have a significant impact on the disabled community. The amount of significance corresponds directly with the level or degree of one’s disability and other identities. Currently, the separation between employment rates for disabled adults and their non-disabled counterparts is vast (Sametz, 2017). The purpose of this study is to examine some variables that affect employment outcomes for youth with low-incidence disabilities. Guided by theoretical frameworks of Disability Studies (DS) and Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) and drawing on a conceptual framework of phenomenology, this qualitative study utilizes a focus group, interviews, survey, and researcher field notes to elicit the perceptions of those involved in a work-based learning program (WBL). Initial coding and an inter-rater reliability check identified fourteen codes. Three themes emerged during second round coding. Results are indicative of the importance of work preparation programs for all stakeholders, as the concepts of work and disability are perceived in relation to our position, shared experiences, and sense of belonging.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.