Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Orkideh Mohajeri, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew Kruger-Ross, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mia Ocean, Ph.D., MSW


Significant concerns for healthcare practitioners and allied health professionals continue to arise regarding treatment of persons with disabilities. Whether disability exists as apparent or non-apparent, temporary, or chronic, people with disabilities tend to be in poorer health and tend to use health care at a significantly higher rate than people who do not have disabilities. Importantly, the absence of professional training on disability competency issues for health care practitioners is one of the most significant barriers that prevent people with disabilities from receiving appropriate and effective health care. This qualitative narrative analysis explores the inclusion of disability concepts and people with disabilities in health sciences and allied healthcare through the knowledge of practitioners and faculty using semi-structured interviews. Thirteen kinesiology faculty and practitioners were interviewed, and the themes emerged from participant stories surrounded Normalcy and Othering, Experience and Exposure, Representation and Role Models, The Need for Opportunities, Giving Space for Intersectionality, Framing and Perspective, and Fostering Advocacy. Through themes, this study determined that there were efforts made on the individual faculty and practitioners themselves to attend to disability, but that there was a large gap in the inclusion of information on disability and impairment effects in the undergraduate higher educational curricula. The qualitative research study’s findings provide recommendations for practice and future research. This study contributes to efforts to normalize the disabled body and experience so that future kinesiology and allied healthcare professionals can attend to these populations in their practice in a more accurate, holistic, and complete sense.