Faculty Publications


College students with physical disabilities: Common on campus, uncommon in the literature.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Lyman Dukes

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2015

Date Available

July 2016


College students with physical disabilities were among the first students to receive disability supports in higher education in the United States, and the earliest journal articles in disability services focused almost exclusively on this cohort. As more students with a range of disability types have accessed higher education over the past 25 years, the body of professional literature has developed correspondingly. However, research related to students with physical disabilities is relatively sparse. The present study is a secondary analysis of a comprehensive systematic review of 1,036 journal articles published between 1951 and 2012, 615 of which were data based. Specifically, 81 of the 615 studies included at least one participant with a physical disability (38.3% included a substantial number of individuals with physical disabilities) and were highlighted for analysis. The majority of studies used descriptive designs and only two studies were experimental. No studies investigated the effectiveness of specific programs or accommodations for students. Results indicated that more systematic, high quality research on the experiences of and services provided to college students with physical disabilities is necessary.


Citation only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Physical Disabilities: Education & Related Services, 34(2), 14-31. doi: 10.14434/pders.v34i2.19224. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




Council for Exceptional Children. Division for Physical & Health Disabilities