Institute on Disability and Human Development (IL UCEDD/LEND) Produces Documentary on Educating Nursing Students with Disabilities

December 14, 2009

Open the Door, Get 'Em a Locker: Educating Nursing Students with Disabilities is a closed-captioned 23-minute documentary film that chronicles the educational journey of one of the first baccalaureate nursing students who used a wheelchair. It was produced by Bronwynne C. Evans, PhD and IDHD's Beth Marks, RN, PhD.  The documentary provides an intimate look at how one college of nursing embraced the challenges of educating a student with a significant physical disability. It explores commonalities and differences between the student and her peers; accommodations for her use of  a wheelchair and  a service dog; reactions of faculty, agency staff, and clients; the role of administrators in her admission; prejudice and discrimination; and her status as a "poster child" for disabilities. In addition, the film provides a detailed personal understanding of the student's education that culminated in completion of the nursing program with honors.

This documentary provides a "transformative view of student nurses with disabilities in the context of a social model of disability," a view that values and solicits their perspectives and recognizes that the presence of physical, attitudinal, and environmental barriers, including discriminatory behavior, prevents people from full participation in society. Just as diversity among race, ethnicity, age, and gender can enrich the cultural environment for learning and practice, recruitment of people with disabilities into nursing programs can bring a new set of skills and abilities to the nursing profession.

"Open the Door" is a real life example of the exploration of roles and responsibilities in nursing education, experiential learning, shifting perspectives, and being a part of old ways "turning into new ways in the world of nursing."

The film is now available. *The Open the Door, Get 'Em a Locker: Educating Nursing Students with Disabilities *package includes the following items:

  • 1 DVD
  • 1 Booklet with Foreword, Postscript, Discussion Questions, and Reading and Resource List


$100.00 (includes shipping and handling within the continental U.S.)

$120.00 (includes shipping and handling outside the continental U.S.)

For order information and to view film clips, please visit: