Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


Although the last few decades have seen an improvement in postsecondary opportunities for students with invisible disabilities in Alberta, service providers at postsecondary institutions continue to struggle to ensure they provide reasonable accommodations in a timely manner. Research questions explored the current practices and challenges of postsecondary accessibility services providers in Alberta, Canada, and their preferences for verification documentation for students requesting accommodations for invisible disabilities. The conceptual framework was based upon the medical and social models of disability, as well as the emerging justice theory of disability. Data were collected via semistructured interviews with 13 participants. A constant comparative method was used for coding interview data, which led to themes reflecting participants’ need for clarity and consistency and participants’ concerns about students and their transition from K-12 or transfer, the failure of the Alberta Human Rights Legislation to clarify terms, the limited resources for staffing and training, and their own struggles to overcome challenges. Findings indicated that while all participants wished to have documentation, they would prefer select components from each of the three models of disability. The findings from this study may lead to positive social change through the review and revision of current practices to better provide consistent access to services for students with disabilities, to accomplish an integral change, and to help ease the transition process for students from secondary to postsecondary education.