Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Megan Williams

Second Advisor

Blake Clifford


The purpose of this qualitative interpretative phenomenological analysis study was to explore the lived experiences and perceptions of college students with disabilities while using technology to pursue postsecondary education. The research problem explored technology barriers students with disabilities might face while participating in their courses due to the inaccessibility of learning materials. The literature reviewed contained many themes, including disability in higher education, assistive technology, digital accessibility, course design, inclusive pedagogy, universal design, and open educational resources. Data for this qualitative study was collected through semi-structured interviews with 12 participants who were active degree-seeking students with a disability who had completed at least one semester. The findings from this study revealed the following four themes: (1) inconsistent LMS usage as a barrier, (2) use of assistive technology, (3) feeling their needs are not understood, and (4) technology as key to their success. The results of this study show that participants experienced difficulties navigating, finding, and using digital course materials and felt that faculty do not generally understand their needs as students with disabilities. The results also indicated that participants felt that technology had removed many barriers experienced as students with disabilities and made postsecondary education possible for them.


Ed.D. Dissertation

Included in

Education Commons



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