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Disability & Society



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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Currently, little research exists on disabilities among Native American communities and no research exists on how Native Americans perceive disabilities, services currently available, and unmet needs. Understanding these key areas is essential to providing efficacious and culturally relevant care. To address this gap in the literature, we used Indigenous research methodology through sharing circles throughout the state of Utah to listen and amplify the voices of the Native communities. Participants shared how they conceptualize "disability," what they thought of current services, and how they thought the needs of Native persons with disabilities should be addressed. Four major themes emerged in the data: a culturally-based conceptualization of "disability," barriers to services, belonging, and needed actions. These themes highlight the cultural strengths among Native communities surrounding disabilities and bring attention to systematic change needed to better address the needs of Native Americans with disabilities.