Barriers to Access: Frustrations of People Who Use a Wheelchair for Full-Time Mobility


  • Linda L. Pierce MSN RNC CRRN

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Medical College of Ohio School of Nursing in Toledo and a doctoral candidate at Wayne State University College of Nursing in Detroit.
      413 Loyola Drive, Elyria, OH 44035.
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413 Loyola Drive, Elyria, OH 44035.


A phenomenological study was conducted to answer the question, What is it like being an individual with a disability who uses a wheelchair for full-time mobility and lives in society with many potential barriers? A total of 9 people from Ohio and Pennsylvania composed the purposively selected sample. Colaizzi's method of data analysis was used to review transcriptions of interviews with those in the sample. The analysis identified a major theme: all participants had feelings of frustration concerning access. Four subtheme clusters related to this frustration emerged: issues of independence, attitudes of others toward people with disabilities, others' lack of understanding of the situations of individuals with disabilities, and lack of involvement of people with disabilities in decisions regarding the development of facilities for them. This study provides insights into the lived experience of accessibility in today's environment for people with disabilities who use a wheelchair for Full-Time mobility, offers direction for health professionals who work with these individuals, and serves as an impetus for further research.