Developing Self-Advocacy Among College Student Employees with Disabilities: An Exploratory Multicase Study



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College students with disabilities are attending higher education in growing numbers, yet there is a disparity in employment outcomes for college graduates with disabilities compared to their nondisabled peers. Opportunities for engagement, including part-time student employment, may mitigate risks of attrition for college students, including those with disabilities. Self-advocacy is identified in the literature as a skillset that strengthens both academic and employment outcomes among people with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to explore, through collective case study design coupled with narrative inquiry, how students with disabilities, who experienced at least one year of part-time employment on campus, define, apply, and promote self-advocacy. Sources of data included participant responses to reflective journal prompts and semi-structured interviews. Data analysis relied heavily upon a narrative inquiry approach within cases, extending themes within and across cases to a larger reflection on the guiding theoretical framework.



Disability, Postsecondary Education, Employment, Self-Advocacy, Independent Living, Case Study