Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Juliana Svistova

Second Advisor

Dr. Sharon Lyter

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Rita Weller


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore what it means to be a college student with a physical disability. The visibility of a physical disability a is distinct characteristic, even within the disability community, which often results in discrimination, oppression, and marginalization that influence both the identity and experiences of the individual. Through the research method of Photovoice, important considerations related to the identity and experiences of college students with physical disabilities were revealed in this study including: visibility (of a physical disability which leads to stigma and stereotypes); independence (ability to do things for oneself); membership in a university organization; support from the disability community; limited college options; money; insurance; power and control; mood; and, faculty awareness. In addition to the empowerment of participants in the creation of social changes as a result of this study, the findings of this study can also be utilized to shape current practices and policies in social work, and higher education and leadership, to improve access and inclusion of college students with physical disabilities.

Included in

Social Work Commons



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