The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 50

Autumn K. Wilke, Nancy J. Evans, Charlie E. Varland, Kirsten R. Brown, Ellen M. Broido

notably absent from the literature. Therefore,
three research questions guided this study: (a)
How do disabled students describe their residential experiences? (b) How does the residential experience promote social integration? (c)
How might the residential experience be modified to support disabled students?
We employed a critical constructivist multisite case study methodology. The goal of a case
study is to "understand an issue or problem
using the case as a specific illustration" (Creswell, 2007, p. 73). We sought to understand
how the residential experience of disabled
students influences their experiences of social
integration. Jones, Torres, and Arminio (2014)
described the case study as having an "intensive focus on a bounded system" (p. 93); we concentrate on the student experience and delimit
boundaries by institution type and geographic
location. The study included participants from
4 of the 14 institutional members of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) consortium. The ACM consortium limits the case
study to small, selective residential liberal arts
colleges while expanding the research beyond
a single institution. Disabled students made
up 10% to 22% of the student population at
the four institutions in this study. These colleges focus on undergraduate education, enroll
fewer than 3,000 students, and enroll predominantly White students.
Our approach is critical in that we center
the construct of ableism, "a form of oppression that occurs on societal, cultural, institutional, and individual levels by valuing
able-bodiedness, independence, and creating
environments that are hostile to people whose
abilities fall outside the scope of normalcy"
(Brown, 2017, p. 102). We used the social
50

justice model of disability as a theoretical
framework to guide this study. Social justice
adherents view disability as a social construction, center the influence of ableism, reject
the privileging of typical ways of functioning (Ostiguy, Peters, & Shlasko, 2016), and
promote the development of positive disability identity (Evans et al., 2017). This framework emphasizes that all people have the
right to enriching and successful educations
in settings where they are respected as unique
individuals with complex and varied identities
(Evans & Herriott, 2009).
The primary data for this study came from
interviews with 24 participants who attended
four different colleges (see Table 1). Interviews
lasted 60-75 minutes. Participants were compensated for their time with gift cards; the
funding for these cards was provided through
an ACUHO-I grant. We prioritized the participants' preferred method of communication
(e.g., in-person interview, real time text, Skype
interview). Participants shared aspects of their
social identities during the interviews, and
we followed up with a short written questionnaire soliciting additional demographic data.
Most of the participants (n = 18) were juniors
or above; only five were first- or second-year
students. Only one of the 24 participants identified as a first-generation college student.
Ten participants reported multiple disabilities, most often a psychological disability in
combination with another type of disability.
Fourteen participants reported psychological
disabilities, 11 learning disabilities, 3 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
and 2 autism. Seven participants indicated
that they had physical disabilities (typically
non-apparent chronic illnesses).

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Intro
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