Date of Award



© 2020 Courtney Roca

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Kimberly Roberts-Morandi

Third Advisor

Pamela Reynolds


There is a well-established need for a wellness program for adults with disabilities in the regional community. In alignment with best practice guidelines, and as a first step in the development of a program in the regional community, qualitative methodology was utilized to explore the views of key community stakeholders to gain an in-depth understanding of their perceptions of wellness programming needs for adults with disabilities in the regional community. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews which specifically explored barriers and facilitators to wellness programming for this population in the regional community to inform future steps of program development. Three main themes emerged for barriers: accessibility, community factors, and political factors while two main themes emerged for facilitators: accessibility and community factors during the data analysis. These themes were further viewed through the lens of the Social Ecological Model (SEM) to determine the specific implications of the findings on subsequent stages of program development. Upon completion of this step, it was recognized that all five layers of influence were represented in the study’s findings. Therefore, moving forward, it will be prudent to incorporate these results and consider the multiple layers of influence of the SEM as future planning commences in order to build a program with lasting results (Drum et al., 2009, LaMorte, 2019; DHHS, 2020).


Ed.D. Dissertation