Nondisabled elementary students’ attitudes toward persons with disabilities
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether implementing a disability awareness unit in a general physical education curriculum positively influences nondisabled students’ attitudes toward persons with disabilities (PWD). A convenience sample of elementary students in fourth- , fifth- and sixth- grade from a parochial school were used for this study and their attitudes toward PWD were analyzed. Data collection was completed through observations, documenting participant comments, and the completion of a survey before, during, and after the intervention. The survey composed of three separate subscales- Perceived Capabilities, Behavioral Intentions, and Impact of Inclusion. Each subscale consisted of questions related to the capabilities of PWD as well as their behaviors, inclusion in school, and in the community. Themes established from this study included Inclusion, Contact Theory, and Maturity Level. Findings portray that interventions used to alter students’ perceptions may be more successful if implemented throughout the school year with additional opportunities for exposure to PWD in a variety of contexts. Further research should be done on the effect of interventions on attitudes. Specifically, the intervention should be multi-dimensional and allow exposure to PWD and occur in comprehensive settings over a long period of time.
People with disabilities