Writing and self-advocacy skills are important for all students, including individuals with disabilities. Within the K-12 setting, those skills are taught, but emphasis changes as students progress through the grade levels. At the elementary level, writing is more prominent; whereas, in high school, self-advocacy becomes a focus. In this study, the researcher used a phenomenological research design to explore the lived experiences and preferences of elementary students with disabilities and their use of self-advocacy strategies in the inclusive setting, both in writing and speaking. The phenomenon was explored over an eleven-week period in a second grade, inclusive classroom. The conceptual framework for the study was the theoretical framework of self-advocacy by Test, Fowler, Wood, Brewer, and Eddy (2005). The child development of Piaget (1964) and disability theory of Tashakkaori and Teddlie (2003) served as secondary frameworks. The data collected are reflective of the self-advocacy experiences and preferences of two students with disabilities, their parents and classroom teacher. The themes of knowledge of self, knowledge of rights, effective communication skills, and leadership skills are discussed in detail. Implications for practice within the elementary classroom and recommendations for future research for students with disabilities in the inclusive environment are provided.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education; Exceptional Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Massengale, Lindsey, "The Lived Experiences of Elementary Students with Disabilities Self-Advocating Through Speaking and Writing" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5079.