School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Kristy Motte


accommodations, chiropractic, higher education, disabilities, self-determination


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of students with disabilities (SWD) at a chiropractic college in the United States that led to their decision not to utilize the academic accommodations available to them. The theory that guided this study is Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory. This qualitative study was conducted using the transcendental phenomenological approach. The research participants were students enrolled in a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) program who had received a diagnosis that made them eligible for academic accommodations at any point in their academic career. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with participants, followed by focus groups, and the completion of journal prompts to triangulate and validate the data. The researcher practiced Epoché to see the participants' experience more clearly and then analyzed the data with open coding and horizonalization to develop textural and structural descriptions. The study identifies personal, institutional, and social barriers to accommodations utilization by SWD enrolled in a DC program. The study offers implications for policy and practice that may improve the experiences of SWD enrolled in a DC program.