Date of Award

Spring 3-2017

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Karen K. Huchting

Third Advisor

Ernest Rose


Despite legal advancements recognizing the rights of individuals with disabilities, societal barriers are still arising from the medical model of disability. These obstacles have resulted in marginalizing and isolating practices, in turn leading to the underrepresentation of individuals with disabilities in the workforce and, by extension, in leadership positions.

Grounded in the frameworks of critical pedagogy and critical disability studies, this autoethnographic study examines, using my personal experiences as contextual evidence, the determining factors underlying the struggle for equity and leadership, within the hegemonic society that people with disabilities must navigate. The study further explores the issue of empowerment and raised consciousness among people with disabilities, as afforded by blending the tenets of critical pedagogy with a critical social model of disability.

Based on the autoethnographic analysis, the study proposes future research and makes recommendations for inclusion of individuals with disabilities, educators working with people with disabilities, and institutions committed to inclusiveness of leaders with disabilities.