Article Title

‘Just like you’: A disability awareness programme for children that enhanced knowledge, attitudes and acceptance: Pilot study findings

Abstract

Purpose: Participation of people with disabilities is influenced by environmental and contextual factors. Disability awareness programmes aim to increase knowledge and acceptance of disability. This study evaluated a disability awareness programme for students aged 9–11 in Australia.

Method: Pre–post questionnaires and focus groups evaluated the programme. The intervention took a cognitive-behavioural approach including a person with a disability co-presenting. Students (n = 147) participated in two sessions of discussions, written activities, demonstrations and disability simulation activities.

Results: Significant improvements (p < 0.001) in knowledge, attitudes and acceptance of disability were evident immediately following the intervention. Focus group analyses further demonstrated these findings.

Conclusions: A brief disability awareness programme for children improved knowledge, attitudes and acceptance of disability in the short-term. Further research is required to identify the potential impact of such programmes on inclusion and social participation of people with disabilities both inside and outside of the school setting.

Keywords

peer-reviewed, disabled persons, awareness, attitude, public opinion, consumer participation, prejudice

 

Link to Publisher Version (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.3109/17518423.2010.496764