Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Susan Katz

Second Advisor

Monisha Bajaj

Third Advisor

Nicola McClung


Disabled refugees are considered as the most marginalized group of all displaced populations. Disabled displaced people are at particular risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse. Additional barriers to accessing humanitarian assistance, education, health care, and other services exist for disabled displaced people. The purpose of this study was to collaborate with disabled refugees who have resettled in the United States and to create a space for their stories to be told. This research project explores the narratives of the lived experiences of disabled displaced people through the lenses of three theoretical frameworks: human rights, disability justice, and Critical Refugee Studies. Together these frameworks work to shift the narrative around disability and refugeehood. Data were collected via one-on-one interviews with six disabled refugees who have resettled in various regions of the United States within the past 15 years. Six themes emerged from the data: 1) claiming education as a human right, 2) inequities in the resettlement camps, 3) lack of knowledge and training of resettlement workers, 4) human rights realized, 5) changing the narrative around disability and refugees, and 6) hope for the future. The findings of this study highlight the additional barriers that disabled refugees encounter both in the displacement camps and upon resettlement in the United States. Furthermore, the results support existing literature highlighting the need for training and cross-collaboration for both resettlement and disability organizations, along with increased awareness and understanding of the unique needs of disabled displaced people. Results from this study provide insight and implications for improving the resettlement experiences of disabled refugees in both policy and practice