Article Title

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


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.


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

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