Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Greig, Christopher

Keywords

Disability, Postsecondary, Women

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This study used qualitative research methods to explore the academic and social experiences of 16 undergraduate women with either a learning challenge or a physical disability in postsecondary school. In semi-structured interviews, these women discussed the ways in which their experiences were often shaped by power, dominant understandings of normality, and social constructions of gender, as well as visible and invisible disabilities. The major findings showed aspects of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) missing on campus for those with disabilities, and a resistance to change by the normative population, causing a lack of awareness and understanding. It should be emphasized that these are the perceptions and experiences of these participants and should not be generalized to others with disabilities outside of this study. Resources for those with disabilities were also lacking. Visibility of the disability itself often played a major role in the perceptions, attitudes, and responses of other people toward them. Recommendations for are also discussed with regards to future research in this area are also discussed.

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