Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Robert Calvert

First Committee Member

Rod P. Githens

Second Committee Member

Homer Johnson


Education facilitates community involvement, participation, and acceptance, but not for students with significant disabilities who are taught in separate settings. The policy of separate education derives from arcane beliefs, limited research, and misconceptions that result in people with disabilities having choices made for them not with them. The All IN Pix YPAR asked six high school students with significant disabilities to photo document a week in their high school yearbook class. Each day after school, the students discussed a single photo using a modified photovoice method in structured interviews using the SHOWeD questioning protocol. After data capture, during a Zoom focus group interview, participant photographers picked 10 pictures and identified themes. Study district schoolteachers opted into the ALL IN Pix Gallery Exhibit Survey and shared their reactions to the images and student comments. The teachers found the exhibit impactful in providing a view of the students’ world, giving voices to students, and teaching the teachers more about the people beyond their disabilities. Students felt empowered in classes where they had choice in their education. Student participants became advocates for change over the course of the study. Recommendations for practice include, adopting students’ requests for experiential and choice driven instruction, incorporation of photovoice into individualized education plan development, club involvement, and teacher development. The All IN Pix YPAR study empowered student participants through self-advocacy and personal autonomy, which align to the study theoretical frameworks of empowerment education theory, critical disability theory, and the social model of disability theory (Kunt, 2020).





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