Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Merry Staulters, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lesley Siegel, Ph.D.


The present qualitative research study analyzed and amplified the voices of physically disabled and/or chronically ill students' perspectives of their postsecondary transition process. Previous transition research dating back to 1983, just a decade after the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, focuses on students with cognitive disabilities, Autism, and Intellectual Disabilities (Will, 1983). From my professional and lived experiences, there appears to be a gap in postsecondary transition services for youth with physical disabilities, which is further substantiated in previous bodies of research (Faggella-Luby et al., 2014; Targetta et al., 2013). This research study is important as it lends voice to youth who have navigated or are currently navigating the postsecondary process. For this research study, participants were recruited through social media platforms via Disability Community groups. Participants were young adults, ages 18 to 27, who had an IEP, lived in the United States, and attended public school. Participants engaged in a one-to-one interview and had the opportunity to participate in an artifact creation in which they represented their feelings towards their postsecondary experiences. Six themes emerged regarding factors that contributed to their postsecondary and transition experiences: (a) Quality of Life, (b) Resilience, (c) Personal Growth, (d) Independence, (e) Community/belonging, (f) Disability Identity, (g) Accessibility.