Accessibility on the Move: Investigating how Students with Disabilities at the University of Manitoba Experience the Body, Self, and Physical Activity

Fiona J Moola


The "ivory tower" is gradually beginning to open its doors to students with disabilities. Although scholarship on the learning experiences of students with disabilities at university is burgeoning, there is an absence of qualitative craftsmanship that has investigated the physical activity experiences of these students, most particularly in the Canadian context. Using Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework as a lens to consider both the bodily and social effects of disablement, I adopted a thematic analytic approach to describe the activity experiences of 12 disabled students at the University of Manitoba (UofM) in Winnipeg, Canada. The students described threatened body-self relationships. They also regarded on campus physical activity as a site of both pleasure and pain. Finally, the students explained what inclusive physical activity means within the context of higher education. By describing the movement experiences and desires of disabled university students at the UofM, this study contributes toward the ongoing struggle for inclusive higher education.


physical activity; disability; university students; Pierre Bourdieu; qualitative research

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2015 Fiona J Moola

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Terri Fizer.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)