Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Morgan Blanton


This phenomenological study sought to understand how members of a special education team account for and navigate successes and barriers faced during the planning and implementation of community experiences for students with severe disabilities. The needs and abilities of this population are vast and often difficult to accurately define, and there remain many gaps within the research. Individual interviews of six special education team members from varied professional backgrounds yielded thick, rich narratives about the successes and barriers faced while planning and implementing community experiences for their students. The dominant theme that emerged was that successful community learning experiences had some sort of multisensory component; however, access to these multisensory experiences remains a barrier that impedes available community outing options. The implication of this study is that in understanding these successes and barriers, special education teams and community organizations can begin to have conversations about creating more meaningful and engaging activities for this population of learners that address their specific needs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License