Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Wade Fish

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Tracy Spencer

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Teresa Starrett


A qualitative case study was conducted to examine ways to increase the use of disability services at 4-year universities. Individual interviews were conducted to see how students and staff members felt the use of disability services could be improved. Five students with nonvisible disabilities and four disability and student services staff members participated in the study. Interviews focused on transition, use of campus services, self-advocacy, and knowledge of disability services. A thematic analysis was conducted on the data, and a total of 20 themes were derived from the interviews. Themes focused on the following topics: self-identification is personal, faculty attitude and communication style, staff to student ratio, communication and third-party help, staff members need better job training, departmental collaboration is necessary, and positive faculty relationships are important. Themes also included topics like convenience, stigma, self-advocacy, lack of knowledge, and limited resources. The data indicated students and staff members felt the use of disability services could be increased by improving communication between students, faculty, and staff. Another important factor in increasing the use of disability services was collaboration between departments and between faculty and staff members. Results further indicated participants believed reducing stigma, raising awareness of disabilities, and improving knowledge and faculty and staff training about disabilities were ways to increase the use of campus disability services.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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