Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Disability and Equity in Education

First Advisor

Valerie Owen

Second Advisor

Patrick Schwarz

Third Advisor

Sharon Duncan


In this study, certified general and special educators, school administrators, as well as paraprofessionals (program, classroom, and/or individual assistants), and school-based specialists (speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, etc.) were surveyed regarding their opinions specific to the impact of potentially disabling barriers for students within the educational setting. In addition to the survey data, follow-up interviews were conducted with five select survey participants. The interview participants were selected based upon their assenting and/or dissenting opinions/responses, as well as their professional role within an educational context. The interviews were completed as a means of deriving additional, inimitable, solutions-focused insights regarding transforming education to the mutual benefit of all students and educators- of all talents and abilities. The conclusions drawn from this line of research indicated the following: instructional environments should be designed to provide maximally supportive learning opportunities; education professionals need to consistently and appropriately provide effective strategies of differentiation in both their instruction, as well as in their assessments; and, there must be a conscientious facilitation of interdependence among students, adults, and the community at-large in order to empower all stakeholders and ensure equitable curricular access for all learners. Additionally, this researcher is proposing a novel framework concerning the aforementioned findings which has the potential to revolutionize how educators engage with, and instruct, their students.