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Publication Date

6-3-2018

First Page

22

Last Page

44

Abstract

Throughout the United States, students with disabilities (SWD) are entering higher education in greater numbers than in the past; they also encounter barriers that negatively impact their college experience. This qualitative study explores the challenges of SWD at a public comprehensive college in the northeastern United States. Our research questions include the following: What are the internal and external challenges of college SWD in professional preparation programs? What might this mean for practice in higher education? In total, 541 participants completed an open-ended survey. Of this group, 45 participants disclosed having a disability, and 12 participated in follow-up interviews. Primary themes that emerged from this study include under- developed self-determination skills, lack of understanding (by SWD and faculty), the stigma associated with disabilities, and ineffective accommodations and support services. What follows is a review of relevant literature, discussion of findings, and presentation of implications for college SWD and professionals in higher education.

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