English: Higher education institutions are required to promote equal access to all qualifying students, including those with disabilities. These institutions are expected to create environments that accommodate the diverse needs of all students and facilitate their learning and participation. The aim of this qualitative study is to obtain an in-depth understanding of how a group of students with disabilities experience participation at a university. This article supports the notion that disability is an experience that develops out of the interaction between individuals with a functional limitation and the social, attitudinal and physical environment in which they live. It focuses on their personal experience of living with impairment, both socially and individually, and demonstrates how both personal characteristics and proximal processes play an important role in participating in higher education.