Date of Graduation

5-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

School of Social Work

Advisor

Kimberly Stauss

Committee Member

John Gallagher

Second Committee Member

Anne O'Leary-Kelly

Keywords

barriers, disability, diversity, faculty, faculty with disabilities, higher education, social work

Abstract

While diversity and inclusion has become a benchmark for universities all around the country, faculty with disabilities remain in the margins of higher education discourse and are a neglected population across the spectrum of academia. This thesis aims at exploring the experiences of faculty with disabilities at a specific research 1 university in the South. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five faculty members who self-identify as having a disability. Four themes emerged from this study: able-bodied lens, fear, social isolation, and coping mechanisms. Building on the existing literature, these findings offer new information to expand the knowledge on the challenges and strengths of this community. The implications section provides practical tools for social workers to engage on this arena. Further research is needed to identify generalizability of results.

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