Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Native Americans are diagnosed with disabilities at a significantly higher rate than the general American population. Due to cultural differences, other factors are likely impacting this difference in diagnosis rates. One possible factor is that Native Americans may have a different definition for ‘disability’ than the general American population. This study aimed to identify whether there is a difference in the definition for ‘disability’ and to learn about the current services available and what changes should be made to better serve Native Americans with disabilities. Native American participants were asked to share their experiences and thoughts about disabilities in sharing circles. Four major themes were identified following these sharing circles. These themes included a culturally based definition of “disability”, barriers to services, acceptance, and needed action. These themes highlight the cultural strengths among Native communities surrounding disabilities and bring attention to what changes could be made to better serve the needs of Native Americans with disabilities.
Ficklin, Erica, "Perceptions of Disabilities Among Native Americans within the State of Utah" (2020). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7965.
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