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While Paige Butler, ’21, of Jacksonville, Fla., worked on her Undergraduate Research Project when many government offices were closed because of COVID-19 restrictions, she appreciated having Internet access.

At the same time, though, she realized the technology that helped her might not be easily accessible to people with certain disabilities. Butler chose to study how the emergency operation plans in North Carolina counties comply with standards in the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). She was one of 11 Gardner-Webb students who applied for and received a grant from the GWU Undergraduate Research Scholars Program to explore the topic over the summer. The students worked 40 hours a week for five weeks on their projects, which they hope to present in a professional forum. Each one had a faculty mentor or collaborator who guided them through the project. Butler’s mentor was Dr. Elizabeth Amato, assistant professor of political science.

Publication Date



Gardner-Webb University


Boiling Springs, NC


summer scholar, people with disability, COVID-19

Summer Scholar’s Research Combined Her Majors in Political Science and American Sign Language