Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2020, Page: 15-19
A School-Based Intervention Addressing Peer Perceptions of Disabilities
Michelle Gamber, School of Health Professions, Division of Public Health, Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia, USA
Cathy Shanholtz, School of Health Professions, Division of Occupational Therapy, Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia, USA
Received: Mar. 7, 2020;       Accepted: Mar. 23, 2020;       Published: Apr. 7, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20200901.13      View  439      Downloads  185
Abstract
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), enacted in 1975, mandates a free and public education for children with disabilities. Yet, research shows that children with disabilities still do not always feel accepted in the public school system, and there are many improvements needed for an inclusive environment to be fully realized. Better awareness of peers with disabilities in the school system allows for a positive classroom environment and learning experience for all children. Increased awareness provides the possibility of school systems to modify their curriculum to better suit individuals with disabilities. Disability awareness interventions can improve children’s knowledge about peers with disabilities and can be approached in many ways. The purpose of this study was to measure student attitudes and perceptions of individuals with disabilities in a primary school setting in rural Virginia. Results from the study indicated a positive change in the perceptions and attitudes of participants after administration of the Whitehorse Disability Kit lessons over the course of four weeks. This study supports previous similar research as the attitudes and perceptions of children with disabilities increased after implementing four weeks of lesson plans. This study demonstrates the positive impact of incorporating disability awareness programs in the school system.
Keywords
Disability, Inclusion, Schools, Peer Perceptions, Occupational Therapy
To cite this article
Michelle Gamber, Cathy Shanholtz, A School-Based Intervention Addressing Peer Perceptions of Disabilities, International Journal of Elementary Education. Vol. 9, No. 1, 2020, pp. 15-19. doi: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20200901.13
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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