Marti Sue Goetz, Ph.D. is a 2006 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dissertation Committee

  • Carolyn Kenny, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Arda L. Cole, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • J. Gary Knowles, Ph.D., Outside Reader


Developmental Disabilities, institutionalization, de-institutionalization, Mentally Retarded, arts based research, art for social change, influencing attitudes. qualitative research, disability

Document Type


Publication Date



This study was conducted given as an inquiry about influencing attitudes toward people with developmental disabilities. Because resistance to homes for people with developmental disabilities situated in typical neighborhoods is still a problem, I seek a way to better assimilate people with "different abilities" into communities. For an historical foundation, I researched literature on the marginalization of this ethnographic group-people with developmental disabilities-and defined quality of life. In establishing groundwork for choice of methodology, I elaborate on arts used for social change. Arts based research methods were used to conduct the research. I created an exhibit using objects and photographs and words in a public space, intended to provoke thought and emotions. In order to evaluate the effectiveness, I used criteria outlined in Arts Based Research by Tom Barone and Elliot Eisner (2012), who indicate that the art piece should contain the following elements: incisiveness, concision, coherence, generativity, social significance, and evocation and illumination (p. 148). Findings affirmed that the arts-influenced installation successfully provoked and influenced attitudes toward people with developmental disabilities, as evidenced in written and oral responses. Implications for future research in this area of study using qualitative methods include: various arts based venues for research with other marginalized populations, participatory action research using the arts and many other provocative arts performances. Keywords: arts based research, qualitative research, disability, marginalization, resistance, and quality of life. The electronic version of this dissertation is accessible through the OhioLINK ETD Center,