Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Rosemary McCaslin


People with physical disabilities face challenges each day when trying to navigate a world filled with environmental and architectural barriers. Research indicates that environmental barriers isolate and prevent many people with physical disabilities from accessing and participating in the community and society. This research study directly applied quantifiable investigative methods through the dissemination of anonymous, online surveys that obtained a total of 363 participants who met the requirements of being between the ages of 18 and 65, and who have a medically diagnosed physical disability in order to identify key factors leading to the isolation among physically disabled persons. This study also discovers a relationship between environmental barriers and isolation among people with physical disabilities, and effectively establishes that the majority of participants identified environmental barriers as being the leading cause of their isolation and exclusion from society. Moreover, research acquired through this study uncovers the previously concealed realization that many individuals do not feel there is an effort being made to ensure that buildings and environments are accessible for people with physical disabilities; and further examines the colossal need for advocacy and change within ADA guidelines to create a more acceptable and adaptable solution for reducing or eliminating environmental and architectural barriers.

Included in

Social Work Commons