The word “disability” is defined as, “A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” (Brennan, p. 1, 2013). In order to provide more inclusive environments for individuals with various disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed and passed by George H. Bush in 1990 which supported their natural human rights and prevented discrimination. However, any architectural structures built before the passing of this act may be inaccessible and cause segregation due to the lack of Universal Design (UD) for people requiring special needs, which includes a handful of long-standing amusement parks. Therefore, it was hypothesized that a majority of U.S. amusement parks will be inaccessible and lack diverse accommodating services to create an inclusive environments for persons with disabilities.

The hope of this particular study is to spread awareness and further inspire future research related to the prevalence of accessibility features of public spaces and how they impact individual daily occupations and basic human functions. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with three (3) participants in order to collect personal responses and feedback regarding accessibility features of various amusement parks. The theme parks discussed during the interviews included Coney Island, Holiday World, attractions at the Indianapolis Zoo, and Walt Disney World. After the completion of semi-structured interviews, participant responses were coded using Qualitative Description Analysis that revealed four underlying themes.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2020


Julie A. Duckart

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)