Evidence-Based Advocacy: Using Photovoice to Identify Barriers and Facilitators to Community Participation After Spinal Cord Injury


  • Susan D. Newman PhD RN CRRN

    Assistant Professor, SCI Photovoice Participants, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Susan D. Newman, PhD RN CRRN, is an assistant professor at the College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.



People with spinal cord injury (SCI) face many environmental barriers to community participation. In this article, a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project that implemented the Photovoice method with 10 individuals with SCI to gather evidence of the environmental factors affecting their participation in the community in and around Charleston, SC, is described. The specific aim of this project was to use Photovoice to create an evidence base of environmental barriers and facilitators to community participation through analysis of data based on the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health taxonomy of environmental factors. Barriers and facilitators were most frequently photographed in the built environment. The participants have started to share their evidence of issues affecting citizens with disabilities with the public and policy makers. The results of this project illustrate that Photovoice is effective in empowering individuals with SCI to address environmental factors affecting their community participation.