The disability community has experienced a long history of segregation and exclusion. With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, discriminatory attitudes and behaviors would no longer be tolerated under law. In recent decades, disability researchers have also experienced a shift in how research projects are designed and conducted, with participatory action research (PAR) playing a prominent role. This paper provides an overview of these shifts and presents a qualitative study that explored the extent to which racial and ethnic minorities with disabilities were empowered by a PAR project that aimed to increase the physical accessibility of their communities. Content analysis of individual interviews revealed the following main themes: (1) increased knowledge of disability rights; (2) increased sense of independence; and (3) increased desire to advocate. Implications of this study include the important role that PAR may play in empowering racial and ethnic minorities with disabilities.
- Community accessibility
- Participatory action research
- Racial and ethnic minorities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science