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Dorothy (Dot) E. Nary, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor of Research and Training Center on Independent Living
Switzer Fellow
Primary office:
4089 Dole Center
Lawrence, KS 66045


Professional Biography

Dot Nary has worked as a staff member at several independent living centers, and also served as a CIL board member. She is interested in research to eliminate health disparities, increase independent living opportunities for persons with disabilities, teach advocacy skills, and transform communities to promote participation for all.

Dr. Nary’s research experience includes assessing accessibility of community fitness centers; devising and testing a home fitness routine for persons with mobility-related disabilities impairments; and serving as a staff member on a randomized controlled trial to test an exercise intervention for wheelchair users. She is interested in the intersection of disability and aging, and how this phenomenon is changing society. She teaches courses on disability at several universities and is a frequent guest lecturer on topics related to health and independent living for people with disabilities.

In 2011 she was awarded a NIDRR Switzer Merit Fellowship to conduct a study titled “Is there really no place like home?: An exploratory study of the impact of non-visitable homes on wheelchair users.”

In her continuing work on visitability, she published a guide for health care providers titled “Making Homes More ‘Visitable’ for Wheelchair Users and Potential Hosts” in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Oct. 2014, Vol. 95, Iss. 10, pp 1995–1996). Health care providers can easily remove this educational page from the journal to share with patients and their caregivers.

Selected Publications

Froehlich-Grobe, K., Nary, D.E., VanSciver, A., Washburn, R.A., & Aaronson, L. (in press). Truth be told: Evidence of wheelchair users’ accuracy in reporting their height and weight. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.     

Froehlich-Grobe, K., Nary, D.E., Van Sciver, A., Lee, J., & Little, T.D. (2011). Measuring height without a stadiometer: Empirical investigation of four height estimates among wheelchair users. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 90(8), 658-666.

Nary, D.E., Froehlich-Grobe, K., & Aaronson, L. (2010). Recruitment issues in a randomized controlled exercise trial targeting wheelchair users. Contemporary Clinical Trials. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2010.10.010.
Nary, D.E., 
White, G.W., Budde, J.F., & Vo, Hoang Yen. (2004). Identifying  employment and vocational rehabilitation concerns of people with traditional and emerging disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 20(1), 71-77. 

Froehlich, K., Nary, D.E., & White, G.W. (2002).  Identifying barriers to participation in physical activity for women with disabilities.  SCI Psychosocial Process, 15(1), 21-29.  

White, G. W., Nary, D. E., & Froehlich, A. K. (2001). Consumers as Collaborators in Research and Action.  Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 21(2), 15-34.

Nary, D.E., Froehlich, A.K., & White, G. W. (2000). Accessibility of fitness facilities for persons with physical disabilities using wheelchairs. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury, 6(1), 87-98.   

White, G. W., Thomson, R. J., & Nary, D. E.  (1997). An empirical analysis of the effects of a self-administered advocacy letter training program.  Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 41(2), 74-87.

Publications - Non-Peer Reviewed

Nary, D.E. (2008). Viewpoint: And wellness for all. RT Image, 21, 10-11.

Dickens, P., & Nary, D.E. Spina Bifida Insights. (Co-wrote column on health and wellness for national newsletter from 2004-2007.)

Nary, D.E. (2005). Facing barriers: A problem, a solution, and a challenge. RT Image, 18(25), p. 4-5.

Nary, D.E. (2002).  Home Physical Activity Programs for People with Physical Disabilities (brochure).  University of Kansas: RTC/IL. (Received 2003 Health Promotion Materials Award from the Kansas Public Health Association).

Nary, D. E.  (1996). Keeping the "Dis" Out of Disabled.  The Toastmaster, 62(11), 27-28.


Nary received her M.A. and her Ph.D., both in developmental and child psychology, both from the University of Kansas.


Photo by Cat Howland

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