Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Brett Taylor

First Committee Member

Tara Bunag

Second Committee Member

Fred Estes


Technology has provided more people access products and services, yet some individuals who would benefit the most from digital access to resources are frequently excluded from participation. One group that is largely neglected is the disability community. Despite federal regulations intended to ensure that people with physical/mental disabilities are included in public digital platforms, organizations continuously design websites, applications, and interfaces without people with disabilities in mind. This is particularly the case with small businesses, which are most commonly reported as having inaccessible digital platforms.

Digital inclusion attempts to ensure equity in digital properties by providing a model to operationalize inclusion across technologies. This qualitative case study examines how a small business owner in an urban U.S. city prioritizes digital inclusion in his daily operations. Using a responsive interview model, the business owner’s experiences, attitudes, and priorities were recorded. Six themes appeared from this study: perceptions of disability influence digital inclusion, powerful branding suggests digital access, unawareness of accessibility guidelines, UX testing overlooks input from people with disabilities, inclusion is tough to enforce on digital platforms, and workarounds hinder digital improvements.





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