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Voices of Students with Disabilities: Experiences Self-Identifying and Self-Advocating
AuthorBlinn, Rachel L
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A mixed-model and mixed-group design composed of three focus groups with twelve students with disabilities (SWD) was utilized to conduct an exploratory study. The study’s focus was to analyze SWD experiences using self-determination skills related to self-awareness and self-advocacy in postsecondary education. SWD must self-identify and self-advocate to access resources within postsecondary education per the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In addition to the typical developmental experiences related to young adulthood, SWD have an added complication of developing a disability identity as they navigate the University experience. A key variable (length of years self-identifying) was selected to run a horizontal analysis across the three prevalent themes: knowing, needing, and getting to compare disability identity development across two groups (those identifying less than 10 years and more than 10 years). Distinctions indicated preferences for supports in self-identifying and self-advocating between the groups.