This paper provides a theoretical context for better understanding student veterans and how the stigmatization of invisible disabilities can affect their transitional experiences on campus. The stigmatization of invisible disabilities creates challenges for veterans as they transition into civilian and student life.
Disability and stigma are a significant aspect of many military veterans’ lives. Throughout this past century, innovations in war and medicine have resulted in higher numbers of veterans separating from the service with physical and mental disabilities. As veterans with disabilities transition into civilian life, many enroll in institutions of higher education. Post-secondary education and vocational training can make the transition into civilian life easier. However, with the stigmatization of invisible disabilities by the public, veterans have encountered challenges transitioning into civilian life, and into higher education. It is necessary to examine the evolution of disability and stigma throughout the major conflicts of this past century to better understand how student veterans experience higher education.
Flink, P. J. (2017). Invisible Disabilities, Stigma, and Student Veterans: Contextualizing the Transition to Higher Education. Journal of Veterans Studies, 2(2), 110–120. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v2i2.20