Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Degree Level



School of Social Work


Kimberly Stauss

Committee Member

John M. Gallagher

Second Committee Member

Anne O'Leary-Kelly


ableism, disability representation, disability studies, disabled academics, faculty with disabilities, higher education, social work


Disability is a unique dimension of diversity, yet structural, social and attitudinal barriers can make meaningful workforce participation difficult for individuals with disabilities. Faculty with disabilities (FWD) are a particularly underrepresented population in academia, and even more so in social work programs. Based on this under-representation and a concern for the lack of attention this population has received, this project will explore a subset of this group. This thesis will focus on faculty with disabilities, first by looking into the scant research pertaining to FWD, then presenting the data from a qualitative study and demographic survey. Implications for policy, practice and future research needs will be examined with particular emphasis on the social work profession and education. This research will investigate the cultural and social climate of disability amongst social work faculties and education and provide meaningful recommendations for a more inclusive, equitable community of social workers and social work students and faculty.