Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Katharine Shepherd

Second Advisor

Mercedes Avila



People with disabilities (PWDs) from countries around the world, including Ghana, deserve the right to education, but are often deprived of it. Statistics from the World Report on Disability in 2011 estimate that literacy rates for PWDs may be as low as 1%. The World Bank Report also reports that more than one billion people may experience some form of disability. Individuals with disabilities typically have worse socioeconomic outcomes than those without disabilities. They often have poorer health, lower levels of employment and earnings, and higher poverty rates. In developing countries, the prevalence of disabilities and its impacts on a wide range of developmental outcomes are usually more significant than they are in countries with well-established educational and social systems (WHO, 2012, p. 201). People with disabilities are especially disadvantaged within school enrollment, educational attainment, and learning. For each of these reasons, implementation of the inclusive education (IE) Policy of Ghana, which calls for full participation of all children with a disability in schools, is critical. This dissertation is organized around two journal articles that together address the theme of IE policies within a Ghanaian context. The first paper, which utilized a case study approach and is published, incorporated the lenses of phenomenological inquiry (Creswell, 2012 pp. 76-77) and feminist disability theory to compare the experiences and perceptions of ten women with disabilities regarding their educational experiences in Ghana. The second paper used a case study approach (Yin, 2017) to investigate and reflect on the interactions of context with actors and processes of implementing the inclusive education policy of Ghana. For the purpose of the second paper, the “actors” consulted were persons involved in implementation of Ghana’s IE Policy. A key goal of the study was to understand the narratives that participants shared regarding implementation of the IE Policy, and in particular, the challenges to implementation.



Number of Pages

144 p.