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University of Oregon

1. Medina, T Audrey. WILD Empowerment: Intersectional Experiences of Identity and Empowerment in Women Activists with Disabilities from Across the World.

Degree: 2019, University of Oregon

Various policies and programs across the world, such as the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, have identified the goal of advancing the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities—a very diverse population. Thus the purposes of this study were to explore the empowerment experiences and salient identities of women activists with disabilities in relation to their environmental contexts. The ecological model of human development, intersectionality theory, and a disability theory of complex embodiment served as conceptual frameworks for this exploration. Participant recruitment took place during the 2013 Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), a program organized by Mobility International USA and sponsored by the United States Agency of International Development. Twenty one participants, who held some form of Deaf/disability, woman, and activist identities, agreed to share their identity and empowerment stories in initial and follow-up interviews. Constructivist grounded theory methods guided a qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts. Results included (a) participants’ individual stories with attention to their intersecting, salient identities, (b) an overview of the empowerment journey, which included participants’ focuses on awareness, barriers, and supports, c) participants’ core values and strategies for approaching empowerment, and (d) their experiences of empowerment on internal, relational, behavioral, and environmental levels. The discussion includes reflections on the themes of awareness, values, spirituality, and effort, as well as on the choices that participants made about how to present their disability identities and about when to practice adaptability, advocacy, resistance, and acceptance. Most prominently, results suggested that empowerment requires supportive contexts, the removal of barriers, and the restructuring of oppressive systems. Recommendations for future research and activism include (a) involving more women with disabilities from the Global South in all stages of research and activism; (b) studying the organizational empowerment of Deaf and disability activist organizations; (c) better incorporating indigenous, spiritual, and other knowledge traditions relevant to specific communities; (d) raising awareness and changing attitudes about disability; (e) focusing on barrier removal; (f) attuning to culture in program design and delivery; and (g) promoting distributive justice and power sharing with vulnerable populations. Advisors/Committee Members: Chronister, Krista (advisor).

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Medina, T. A. (2019). WILD Empowerment: Intersectional Experiences of Identity and Empowerment in Women Activists with Disabilities from Across the World. (Thesis). University of Oregon. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1794/24541

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Medina, T Audrey. “WILD Empowerment: Intersectional Experiences of Identity and Empowerment in Women Activists with Disabilities from Across the World.” 2019. Thesis, University of Oregon. Accessed May 25, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/1794/24541.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Medina, T Audrey. “WILD Empowerment: Intersectional Experiences of Identity and Empowerment in Women Activists with Disabilities from Across the World.” 2019. Web. 25 May 2019.

Vancouver:

Medina TA. WILD Empowerment: Intersectional Experiences of Identity and Empowerment in Women Activists with Disabilities from Across the World. [Internet] [Thesis]. University of Oregon; 2019. [cited 2019 May 25]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/24541.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

Medina TA. WILD Empowerment: Intersectional Experiences of Identity and Empowerment in Women Activists with Disabilities from Across the World. [Thesis]. University of Oregon; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/24541

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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