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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Daiva Banaitis, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Nancy Cicirello, MPH, PT


Since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, many physical therapy programs have taken steps necessary to integrate the law into their programs. This study examines the areas of essential functions and reasonable accommodations as they relate to physical therapy programs admission and accommodation practices. A questionnaire was designed and mailed to 70 randomly selected physical therapy programs. From the surveys returned, it was determined that a small number of students with disabilities are currently enrolled in physical therapy programs. These students' disabilities most often became apparent to the institution post-admission or when classes began. Of the institutions surveyed, 35% currently have a list of essential functions. In most cases this list is distributed with the application materials. All of the accommodations listed on the survey, for students with mobility, hearing, and visual impairments, were considered reasonable by the majority of respondents. Almost all of the accommodations listed had been provided in at least one instance.


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