This study explored the perceptions of disability from the perspectives of Ethiopian immigrant parents who have children with disabilities. The study was guided by the research question: How do Ethiopian immigrant parents from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, who have children between the ages of 7-17 identified with disabilities and enrolled in public schools, perceive disability? This study was approached through the lens of social constructivist theory. Eight Ethiopian immigrants from the Washington, D.C. area (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia) were participants of this qualitative study. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview protocol. Each participant was interviewed separately utilizing an indepth, one-on-one interview method. To analyze data, Braun and Clark's (2006) six-step thematic qualitative data analysis was used. The following six major themes emerged: individuals with disabilities are better embraced in the United States than in Ethiopia; faith and traditional treatment are highly valued in the Ethiopian community; exposure to the mainstream culture impacts the acceptance of disability and coping with it; parents are grateful to the United States educational system and efforts of educators in supporting children with disabilities; huge sacrifices are made by parents of children with disabilities; and parents are reluctant to seek help until prompted by health and, or school professionals. The findings of this study can be useful to a diverse population of professionals in the field of education, health professionals, Ethiopian immigrants, and employees of Ethiopian community centers located in different parts of the United States. The findings of this study also gleaned ideas for future study topics that need to be further explored.
|Advisor:||Shotel, Jay R.|
|Commitee:||Abah, Mathew, Davis-Holmes, Sharon, Johnson, Willfred A., Leconte, Pamela J.|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Education and Human Development|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Special education, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Disability, Education, Ethiopian immigrants, Immigrant parents, Perception|
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