Highlighting the Voice of the Disability Community and Defining How Creative Expression Impacts Their Lived Experience

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Priest, Katelyn
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This thesis examines the lived experience of creative expression in the disability community, which encompasses disabilities such as cognitive, developmental, physical, etc. Not all disabilities are visible, and anyone can join this population at any point in their life. The introduction provides the reader with essential background information regarding who can fall into this population, appropriate language, and the importance of inclusion in the media/text. Then, current literature will be referenced to explain themes such as stigma/ableism, disability culture, and the relationship between art and disability. Additionally, research will be used to note terms, definitions, and models along with gaps in research. The qualitative phenomenological study will be introduced along with a description of the procedures and who can be a participant in this study. Themes will be identified along with the limitations of this study. Keywords: disability, people-first language, identity-first language, ableism, stigma, accommodation, creativity, art therapy, qualitative research, phenomenology, focus groups, individual interviews, field notes, creative expression